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Atherosclerosis

In our bid to educate all about heart safety and avoiding Sudden Cardiac Arrest, we share lifestyle and risk factors that contribute to the thousands of cardiovascular deaths each year. The more you know, the easier to make healthy choices and the less likely you will be to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Let's talk about your arteries:

Atherosclerosis: the gradual buildup of fat on the interior lining of the artery.

To show you how heart attacks and strokes can be traced directly to our diets, consider this:  When we are born, our arteries are like pipelines; clear and wide, and flowing easily with our lifeblood.  As we get older and our diets deteriorate, small deposits of fat can become lodged in our arteries.  These deposits calcify and become known as plaque. Atherosclerosis, is the gradual buildup of this plaque on the interior lining of the arteries. High blood pressure may be an early indication of this plaque narrowing the arteries.Atherosclerosis

As this build-up progresses, a condition may develop known as Angina Pectoris, which literally means “Chest Pain.” Angina is a precursor to heart attack, and feels similar to one.  People with Angina must take special medication whenever they experience the symptoms of an attack.  These people cannot solve their problem with diet or exercise; they have waited too long.  For cases of advanced atherosclerosis, invasive procedures may be the only alternative.  Angioplasty or Bypass Surgery are two methods of combating the condition, and both can be costly and dangerous.  If not caught in time, the tiny openings left in these arteries may become blocked, and the results are often quick and tragic.

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