Arteriosclerosis is a natural physiological process of aging of the arteries that is characterized by a slight or moderate decrease in the diameter of the arteries. However, certain risk factors can accelerate this process and cause fine arterial damage.
Cardiovascular risk factors that can accelerate arteriosclerosis include smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, a family history of atherosclerosis before age 60, age, physical inactivity, obesity and stress.
It is important to note that fine arterial lesions can be observed as early as 20 years of age, which underlines the importance of prevention at an early age. Healthy lifestyle habits, such as a balanced diet and regular physical activity, can help prevent or slow down arteriosclerosis.
In addition, early detection of cardiovascular risk factors and appropriate management are also essential to prevent complications associated with arteriosclerosis, such as heart disease and stroke. Patients with cardiovascular risk factors should be encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle and to follow up regularly with their health care provider.
Definition and Meaning
Arteriosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease characterized by hardening and thickening of the artery walls. This condition is caused by the buildup of fatty plaques, calcium and other substances inside the walls of the arteries, which can reduce or block blood flow. Arteriosclerosis can affect arteries throughout the body, including those in the heart, brain, legs and kidneys. Risk factors for arteriosclerosis include smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle. Complications of arteriosclerosis can include cardiovascular disease such as angina, myocardial infarction and stroke.
The risk factors for arteriosclerosis are:
- High blood pressure
- High blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia)
- A family history of atherosclerosis
- Sedentary lifestyle
It is important to note that these risk factors can be modified by healthy lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, regular exercise and a balanced diet.