Our lifestyle has changed a lot through the past years and that's something undeniable, yet it didn't change to the better for everyone, actually most people lifestyle nowadays isn't healthy at all, especially the adults. Adult's lifestyle these days is full of stress, less communication, lack of exercise, and mainly unhealthy food habits. All the previous factors contributed and helped develop various disease among adults & elder, and one of those disease is Atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a type of Arteriosclerosis, and arteriosclerosis is simply Hardening, thickening and loss of elasticity of the arterial wall. (it only occurs in arteries which carry oxygen and other nutrients to the tissues.)
The narrowing in the lumen of the vessel in Atherosclerosis is due to: 1. Fatty Streaks 2. Intimal lesions called atheromas. And I won't go in details about those because it's not the most important thing to focus on here. Yet, I need to mention that the main pathology of atherosclerosis are cholesterol and fat.
There are 2 types of risk factors for atherosclerosis, which are:
Constitutional Risk Factors (Which include the risk factors we can't modify or do something about it):
- Age: Something to know about atherosclerosis is that it doesn't affect children, and it usually starts appearing by the age of 50.
- Familial and genetic factors also plays a crucial role in atherosclerosis development.
- Gender: Males are more susceptible to develop atherosclerosis than premenopausal women. You might be wondering why did I say premenopausal women and not just women in general, I will explain.
Premenopausal women are relatively protected against atherosclerosis in the absence of other risk factors due to hormone estrogen. While the postmenopausal women, the risk factor will be the same as it's for males.
The other type of risk factor is the modifiable risk factors, which include: Hyperlipidemia(LDL), hypertension, cigarette smoking, diabetes mellitus, etc....
Clinical Consequences of Atherosclerosis/ Symptoms
Atherosclerosis can affect most of the body's arteries, causing different consequence in every type.
- Myocardial infarction (heart attack) and coronary artery disease, and that's when atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries of the heart.
2.cerebral infarction (stroke) that's when the brain arteries are affected.
3.peripheral vascular disease (gangrene of extremities). That's when the atherosclerosis occurs in the arteries of the legs and arms. It may start with some claudication in the legs.
There are different outcomes each corresponds to its arteries, but all of them depends on the size of the vessel and the stability of the plaque where it can lead to server consequences or mild ones.
Prevention And Treatment
To prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, you have to follow a healthy lifestyle where you avoid all the modifiable risk factors we have mentioned in the post above. So avoid smoking or secondary smoking, having low fat diet, and exercising will probably protect you from this disease.
Medications that are used to treat atherosclerosis are medications that are used to treat the risk factors mainly.
In The End
Healthy lifestyle will always protect you from atherosclerosis and various other disease, so better follow that to avoid using medication in the most of our lifetime.
Stay safe everyone. Thanks for reading!