Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque is formed inside the arteries. Arteries are the type of blood vessels that take oxygen-rich blood from the heart to all parts of your body. Plaque formed in arteries is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium and other elements present in the blood. The build-up of plaque in the arteries occurs over many years. The plaque hardens slowly and causes the arteries to lose their elasticity. It also causes narrowing of the artery. This leads to reduction in the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.
Atherosclerosis has become an epidemic, which affects almost everyone. It usually starts in young adults (in 20s) and increases with age. The exact cause of atherosclerosis is not known, but factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis include:
Atherosclerosis is considered as an important problem as it can lead to serious problems including heart attack, stroke or even death.
Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body. Some of the arteries that when affected can cause significant problem include heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, eyes and kidneys. Some of the common problems that develop based on the type of arteries that are affected include:
Treatment for atherosclerosis includes lifestyle changes, medicines and some medical procedures.
Lifestyle changes along with treatment can prevent complications and deaths from atherosclerosis-related diseases.
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