Atherosclerosis is a vascular disorder consisting of thickening of arteries and lack of elasticity. Result of atherosclerosis is that arteries become narrowed and hardened due to an excessive buildup of plaque around the artery wall. The disease disrupts the flow of blood around the body, posing serious cardiovascular complications. Arteries contain what is called an endothelium, a thin layer of cells that keeps the artery smooth and allows blood to flow easily. Endothelial damage starts the first step of atherosclerosis. After this, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol accumulates in the artery wall. Inflammatory process starts after this accumulation, and macrophages reach the endothelium to clean up cholesterol. But some macrophages are stuck in the affected part of the artery wall in this process. Over time, this results in plaque being built up, consisting of cholesterol and macrophage white blood cells. The plaque clogs up the artery, disrupting the flow of blood. This potentially causes blood clots that can result in life-threatening conditions such as heart attack and other cardiovascular diseases. Atherosclerosis can be seen in all arteries in the body. Atherosclerosis is the most common cause of death in the western countries. Some risk factors are as follows: age, sex, familial predisposition, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, smoking, obesity, insufficient physical activity, etc. Whatever the main reason or the risk factor is, once atherosclerosis is formed, several life-threatening cardiovascular disorders can be seen. So, it has to be revealed.
Part of the book: Atherosclerosis