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Introduction & Types
Atherosclerosis or Arteriosclerosis is a slow and progressive building up of plaque, fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin in the inner lining of an artery. This building up of plaque may lead to thickening and hardening of the arteries, subsequently blocking the blood flow either partially or totally in an artery. (1)
Atherosclerosis can affect arteries in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis and intestines leading to diseases of those organs. There are four main types of Atherosclerosis which include:
In severe cases, atherosclerosis could also lead to narrowing of the arteries of the kidney, leading to renal artery stenosis (3).
Millions of Americans are diagnosed to be suffering from Atherosclerosis and millions more have the disease but are unaware it. Atherosclerosis accounts for about 75 percent of all deaths from cardiovascular disease. Men, African-Americans, and all individuals over 65 years of age have the highest risk of developing advanced atherosclerosis. (4)
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
Diagram of atherosclerosis - plaque build up in the arteries which leads to coronary artery disease and symptoms of angina.
Cross cut diagram of cholersterol plaque build up in the artery.
Stent's like this one are inserted into arteries to help keep them open, allowing blood to flow.
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