I worked at a medical centre, administration only, in the 90’s and I remember being asked the question, What is Atherosclerosis? My response was as blank as an unused A4 sheet of paper. However, I now know the answer.
Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis (or thickening and hardening of the arteries). As we age, some hardening of the arteries can occur naturally.
When a person has atherosclerosis, the inner walls of the arteries become narrower due to a buildup of plaque.
Plaque results from deposits of fat, cholesterol, and other substances. Blood clots form, blocking blood flow, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
As an artery becomes more and more narrowed, less blood can flow through.
The artery may also become less elastic (called “hardening of the arteries”). Atherosclerosis is the main cause of a group of diseases called cardiovascular diseases – diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Atherosclerosis can lead to clogged arteries in any part of the body. When the arteries to the heart are affected, angina (chest pain) or a heart attack may result. If arteries in the leg are affected, leg pain may occur. Atherosclerosis of the arteries to the brain can cause strokes.
In this section
What is Atherosclerosis – You are on this page
Atherosclerosis Risk Factors
What is the Plaque That Causes Atherosclerosis
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