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The cardiovascular and lymphatic systems are related in that they both play a role in the movement of substances throughout the body. This transportation system is often referred to as circulation (sometimes the term circulatory system is used synonymously with cardiovascular system). The two systems are physically linked, but play different roles in the overall functioning of the body. The major job of the cardiovascular system is to transport nutrients and oxygen from the respiratory and digestive systems to all the cells of the body, and to deliver cellular wastes such as carbon dioxide and urea to their respective points of elimination. Hormones and other important molecules are also transported in the blood. This system functions in the maintenance of homeostasis by helping to stabilize the temperature, pH, and osmotic balance of the body, as well as playing a part in the complex system of defense against disease. The major roles of the lymphatic system include the drainage and return to the cardiovascular system of excess tissue fluid and the absorption of fat from the digestive system. In addition, the immune response, the body’s major defense system against specific disease-causing agents, occurs largely in the lymphatic system.

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