Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

May 3, 2009

  • Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries
  • Causes and symptoms

 Atherosclerosis - seal and narrowing of the arteries - with good reason considered a dangerous disease. This progressive violation gradually blocks the arteries, increasing the risk of impaired blood flow.

Atherosclerosis is a common cause of heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral vascular disease - in other words, a variety of diseases of the cardiovascular system. Cardiovascular diseases are the most common cause of death worldwide.

 Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

The causes of atherosclerosis

Firstly, it is necessary to recall the anatomy: artery - blood vessels that carry blood from the heart leaves, and then supplied to the various organs. Inside they are covered with a thin layer of cells, called the endothelium. One of the problems is that the endothelium to maintain arterial smooth and elastic, so that blood can flow normally.

Atherosclerosis begins to develop when due to high blood pressure, smoking and high cholesterol, or are damaged endothelium, and begins the formation of cholesterol plaques.

First, so-called bad cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, or passes through the damaged endothelium and enters the artery wall.

White blood cells begin to process LDL-cholesterol. After many years of accumulation of cholesterol and indiscriminate cell turns into plaque on the wall of the artery.

Plaque consists of lipids or cholesterol various cells and foreign particles penetrating into the body. With the development of atherosclerosis plaque is growing. Big enough cholesterol plaques can completely block an artery.

Atherosclerosis can develop for a long time, but its symptoms usually appear only in middle age or older. When the artery is significantly narrowed, blood flow in it deteriorates or is completely blocked and the patient feels more or less pain.

There are several scenarios for the development of atherosclerosis:

  • Cholesterol plaque can be attached to the wall of the artery. There it reaches a certain size and growth stops. Since this is not the plaque blocks blood flow, it does not cause any symptoms and people may not be aware of its existence.
  • Cholesterol plaques can grow slowly and steadily until the cause significant impairment of blood flow. Pain and pressure (in the chest or leg, depending on where the plaque formation) - the most common symptom of this disorder.
  • Worst case scenario: cholesterol plaques on the artery wall separates overlaps blood flow in the artery and form blood clots. If this occurs in the brain, a stroke; peel cholesterol plaques in heart leads to heart attack.

Atherosclerosis causes the three main types of cardiovascular disease:

  • Coronary heart disease: a fixed cholesterol plaques in the arteries of the heart causes angina Angina: When the heart needs help  Angina: When the heart needs help
   (Its main symptom is chest pain Chest pain is one symptom - a lot of diseases  Chest pain is one symptom - a lot of diseases
   during exercise). Sudden plaque rupture and blood clot formation causes the death of heart muscle cells. It's a heart attack, or myocardial infarction Myocardial infarction - the most formidable diagnosis  Myocardial infarction - the most formidable diagnosis
  • Cerebrovascular disease: cholesterol plaques in the arteries of the brain can lead to stroke Stroke - a serious brain injury  Stroke - a serious brain injury
 With the possibility of irreversible damage to brain tissue. Temporary blocking of the arteries can cause a transient ischemic attack; it is often a harbinger of stroke, but does not cause damage to the brain tissue.
  • Peripheral artery disease: usually a narrowing of the arteries in the legs caused by plaque-. Peripheral artery disease causes poor circulation. Because of this, a person can feel pain after walking and other physical activities, including - minor. Poor wound healing is another sign of this disorder. In severe cases, peripheral artery disease can lead to amputation.

 Atherosclerosis - a chronic disease of the arteries

Who can develop atherosclerosis

In fact, it would be easier to answer the question, with whom he can not develop?

Atherosclerosis begins to develop early. For example, an autopsy of young American soldiers killed in Korea and Vietnam showed that nearly three-quarters of them were early forms of atherosclerosis.

In a study conducted in 2001 with the participation of 262 people who consider themselves healthy in general:

  • In 51, 9% of them had some form of atherosclerosis
  • Atherosclerosis was observed in 85% of people over 50 years
  • In 17% of adolescents were identified atherosclerosis

None of the participants in the study had no external symptoms of atherosclerosis, and only a few have been found significant irregularities in the structure of the artery walls.

Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor

March 9, 2008

 hypertonic disease
 Hypertensive heart disease - a disorder whose main characteristic is the high blood pressure. It can increase as aging - due to the fact that the age of the vessel walls become less flexible. When this occurs, the pressure begins to rise gradually.

Blood pressure indicates a pressure force of blood on the walls of arteries.

Normal blood pressure is considered to be 120/80 mm / rt.s.

Hypertensive heart disease is diagnosed if the person's blood pressure most of the time is 140/90 mm / rt.s or higher.

When blood pressure between 120/80 and 140/90 mm / rt.s. They talk about prehypertension. If you have prehypertension, there is a high risk of developing hypertension.

 Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor


On the blood pressure can affect many factors, including:

  • The amount of salt and water in the body;
  • Condition of the kidneys, nervous system and blood vessels;
  • The level of various hormones.

High blood pressure increases the likelihood of stroke Stroke - a serious brain injury  Stroke - a serious brain injury
 , Heart attack, heart failure, kidney disease, and early death.

The risk of hypertensive disease increases the impact of factors such as obesity, frequent exposure to severe stress, increased anxiety Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?  Anxiety - how to distinguish normal from disease?
 , Alcohol, excess salt in the diet, hypertension family history, diabetes, smoking.

In most cases, however, to establish the exact cause of the development of essential hypertension is not possible.

 Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor


For most people, hypertensive disease is asymptomatic, and high blood pressure is detected only during a visit to the doctor.

It is because of lack of symptoms, on a background of hypertensive disease in humans can develop heart disease and kidney failure, and he can learn about it only with the appearance of severe symptoms.

In some cases of essential hypertension symptoms such as severe headache, nausea and vomiting, confusion, blurred vision, and / or nosebleeds. When these symptoms should immediately seek medical attention.

 Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor


When suspected hypertension doctor should measure your blood pressure several times during a certain period of time. Variations in blood pressure readings at different times of the day are normal.

Sometimes it is recommended to measure blood pressure at home. So you can get more reliable data in the first place, because people more relaxed at home, and in the clinic are often under stress, and secondly, because he will be able to measure the pressure more often, the doctor.

Furthermore, assigned examination to detect or exclude heart disease, high cholesterol, and kidney disease.

 Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor


The main goal of treatment for hypertension is to lower blood pressure, and thus reduce the risk of complications. You and your doctor should establish a goal blood pressure for you.

Sometimes it is possible to control the blood pressure through the following measures:

  • A diet rich in fiber, potassium and other nutrients.
  • Regular exercise for at least thirty minutes a day.
  • Smokers Individuals are advised to quit smoking.
  • Limiting consumption of alcohol or a complete rejection of it.
  • Limiting the amount of sodium (salt) 1 to 500 mg per day or less.
  • Reduction of stress How to beat stress? Create an oasis  How to beat stress? Create an oasis
 ; advised to avoid employment situation and people that cause particularly severe stress and / or use such practices as meditation Meditation - treats the body and the spirit  Meditation - treats the body and the spirit
   and yoga.
  • Maintaining a healthy weight; if necessary, the physician should help the patient find a suitable weight loss program.

In some cases, for the treatment of hypertension drug therapy is needed.

Most often the following preparations:

  • Diuretics, or diuretics. They contribute to the conclusion of excess sodium from the body; This reduces stress on the blood vessels and thereby reducing blood pressure.
  • Beta-blockers reduce the workload on the heart.
  • Angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors have a relaxing effect on blood vessels.
  • Calcium channel blockers.

 Hypertensive heart disease - the prognosis is poor


With timely and proper treatment, as a rule, able to successfully control blood pressure. However, in some cases, hypertension leads to the following complications:

  • Bleeding from the aorta;
  • Chronic kidney disease;
  • Heart attack or heart failure;
  • Violation of the blood supply to the legs;
  • Eye problems;
  • Stroke.

Article Tags:
  • hypertension