OCT 26, 2018 12:30 PM PDT

What Is Atherosclerosis Anyway

WRITTEN BY: Abbie Arce

Atherosclerosis is the main contributing factor for coronary artery disease. Defined by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, atherosclerosis is a disease “in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.“ This plaque lines the walls of the arteries and eventually hardens. With fatty plaque obstructing the arterial passageway, blood flow is limited. This limited flow of blood creates a shortage of oxygenated blood throughout the body. 

This condition can lead to life-threatening cardiovascular events including heart attack or stroke. A variety of diseases are associated with plaque buildup. Depending on which arteries are most affected by atherosclerosis, a person may develop coronary heart disease, peripheral artery disease, carotid artery disease or chronic kidney disease. 

 

Many of the risk factors for atherosclerosis are under our control. These modifiable risk factors include a sedentary lifestyle, tobacco use, and a poor diet. The use of targeted fitness regimens has even been shown to prevent and reverse diseases of the heart, making exercise one of the most powerful tools we have for combating heart disease. 

Unfortunately, some factors remain out of our control, for example, age. 

The above video provides a detailed, easy-to-follow description of what happens within the body as atherosclerosis develops. 

 

Sources: Khan AcademyNational Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

About the Author
  • Abbie is an AFAA certified personal trainer and fitness instructor with an interest in all things health-science. She has recently graduated with her BS in Applied Sport and Exercise Science from Barry University in Miami. Next, she intends to earn an MPH with a focus in Epidemiology.
You May Also Like
MAR 12, 2020
Cardiology
Skipping Breakfast Increases Risk for Heart Disease Death by 87%
MAR 12, 2020
Skipping Breakfast Increases Risk for Heart Disease Death by 87%
According to the old adage, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. But is that really so? Now, r ...
APR 06, 2020
Cardiology
Positive Effects of Most Popular Diets Disappear After a Year
APR 06, 2020
Positive Effects of Most Popular Diets Disappear After a Year
While evidence suggests that most diets lead to similar modest losses in weight and improvements in cardiovascular risk ...
APR 07, 2020
Cardiology
Heart Attack Doctors Sit Idle Amid Coronavirus Fears
APR 07, 2020
Heart Attack Doctors Sit Idle Amid Coronavirus Fears
Across the United States, doctors have reported that hospitals are eerily quiet apart from wards housing patients diagno ...
APR 22, 2020
Cardiology
COVID-19 Connected to an Increase Occurrence of Blood Clots
APR 22, 2020
COVID-19 Connected to an Increase Occurrence of Blood Clots
COVID-19 linked to cardiac issues  
JUL 11, 2020
Cardiology
Predicting a Heart Attack's Prognosis with Biomarkers
JUL 11, 2020
Predicting a Heart Attack's Prognosis with Biomarkers
Biomarker studies have taken the diagnostic field by storm these past few decades. Many diseases will have unique g ...
JUL 28, 2020
Cancer
Should you get your DNA test for community-based genetic screening?
JUL 28, 2020
Should you get your DNA test for community-based genetic screening?
In a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine, researchers champion the potential of community-based gene ...
Loading Comments...