What is Atherosclerosis? (Definition)
Atherosclerosis (also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease or ASVD) is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries which can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death. Because Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body (including main arteries located in the heart, brain, kidneys, arms, legs, and pelvis), different diseases may develop based on which arteries are affected. These diseases can include Carotid Artery Disease, Coronary Heart Disease, Peripheral Artery Disease, and Chronic Kidney Disease.
Atherosclerosis begins when the endothelium becomes damaged, allowing LDL cholesterol to accumulate in the artery wall. Endothelium is a thin layer of cells that keeps the artery smooth and allows blood to flow.
There is no known specific cause of Atherosclerosis, however, certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise your risk for the disease. Controllable conditions include such things as lack of physical activity, smoking, and an unhealthy diet. Other non-controllable conditions are thought to include age and a family history of heart disease.
Symptoms and Signs of Atherosclerosis
Atherosclerosis is asymptomatic (shows no symptoms) for decades because the arteries enlarge at all plaque locations, so there is no noticeable effect on blood flow. Even most plaque ruptures do not produce symptoms until enough narrowing or closure of an artery, due to clots, occurs. Signs and symptoms only occur after severe narrowing or closure impedes blood flow to different organs enough to induce symptoms. Most of the time, patients realize that they have the disease only when they experience other cardiovascular disorders such as stroke or heart attack. These symptoms, however, still vary depending on which artery or organ is affected. If you are noticing symptoms similar to those of heart disease, coronary artery disease, or kidney disease, it’s very important to get checked out by your doctor or healthcare professional.
See below for updated news and information regarding Atherosclerosis including new medical research, treatment options and advancements.
Latest Atherosclerosis Treatment News and Research
Researchers Identified Two PARP Proteins as Regulators of Macrophage Activation in Development of Atherosclerosis