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Differences Between Arteries and Veins

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All the living organisms need food, water, and oxygen to survive, which needs to be transported to different body parts. In addition to this, the waste in our body needs to be taken to a specific part, from where it can be removed. Well, do you know how it is done? 

The heart and blood vessels form the essential components of our circulatory system and make the transportation of substances possible.

Now, the blood alone performs both the functions of transporting the essential substance as well as the waste material. It is categorized mainly in two types of vessels, namely arteries and veins, both having many noteworthy functions. 

What are Arteries and Veins?

Arteries are thick-walled blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart and distribute it into all the parts of the body.

Veins perform the reverse task, so they are defined as thin-walled blood vessels carrying the blood from all the parts of the body to the heart.

Note- Basically, apart from the many differences between arteries and veins, the similarity in each of these arteries and veins is they have three layers: an inner lining( called the tunica intima), a middle layer made of smooth muscle and elastic fiber ( tunica media), and an external layer made of fibrous connective tissue and collagen fibers ( tunica externa).

The middle layer, I,e.tunica media, is thinner in a vein.

Types of Arteries

There are three types of arteries, all composed of the three layers mentioned above.

Elastic Arteries- They are also called conducting arteries and have a thick middle layer to facilitate the stretching in response to the pulses of the heart.

Muscular Arteries- Also called distributing arteries, they are medium-sized blood vessels. They are meant to draw blood from the elastic arteries and spread to the resistance vessels.

Arterioles- These are the smallest division of arteries that transport blood from the heart into the capillary networks.

Types of Veins

Deep Veins- These veins are positioned within the muscle tissue and have a corresponding artery adjacent to it.

Superficial Veins- No corresponding arteries are placed with them, and they are comparatively closer to the surface of the skin.

Pulmonary Veins- Each lung has two sets of these veins. They transport oxygenated blood from the lungs to the heart.

Systemic Veins- They are present all over the body from the legs to the neck and transport deoxygenated blood.

Apart from veins and arteries function, is there any other difference between the arteries and veins? The answer is big, yes! Let’s explore those contrasts-

Let’s Know More to Find out the Differences Between Arteries and Veins






Type of blood carried

Clean, oxygenated blood from the heart to all body parts. 

Deoxygenated blood from all body parts to the heart.



Thick elastic muscular walls.

Thin non-elastic muscular walls.



Deeper beneath the skin surface.

Close to the skin surface.






Blood pressure while flow








Internal diameter


Comparatively wider



Fast flow

Sluggish flow


Muscle Contraction





More prone.Common diseases-AnginaPectoris, Atherosclerosis, etc.

Less vulnerable.

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FAQs on Differences Between Arteries and Veins

1. Which is the Largest Artery in the Human Body?

The Aorta is the largest artery in the human body as it is straightaway connected with the heart and distributes the oxygenated blood to all the body parts.

2. Which is a Thicker Artery or Vein?

Veins generally have a larger diameter as they carry a higher volume of blood but have thinner walls. In contrast, arteries have thicker walls comparatively and thus have increased blood pressure too. 

3. From which Vein, the Blood for the Blood Test is Taken?

Generally, the blood is taken from the superficial veins as they are closest to the surface of the skin.

4. Why are Valves Present in Veins?

Veins have valves to prevent the backflow of blood. On the other hand, they are absent in arteries because they have the least chance of the backflow, and this is so because they are already carrying the blood under high pressure.

5. Which Blood is Darker, the One in the Artery or Vein?

Arteries have oxygenated blood, which is bright red.whereas the veins carry deoxygenated blood, bluish ( looks like purple through the skin).

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