Recent studies in Europe found that after the age of 50, excess body fat results in hardening of the arteries, and may increase the risk of dying from a cardiovascular disease. Obesity can cause the blood vessels in young people to adapt, but this ability to adapt is lost after middle age. Blood will travel faster in stiff blood vessels than healthy vessels. Certain metabolic products in the blood may lead to the damage of the elastic fibers in our blood vessels. Many years of obesity may cause permanent damage to the arteries by middle age.