thickening, hardening and loss of elasticity of the walls of arteries

Arteriosclerosis is a diseased condition of the arteries. The artery walls are thickened, hardened and lose stretchiness, called elasticity.

Diagram showing the effects of atherosclerosis on an artery.

There are three main types:[1]

  • Atherosclerosis is the most common type. It is the narrowing of arteries from a buildup of plaque, usually made up of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin, inside the arteries. This affects large and medium-sized arteries; however, its positioning varies person to person.[2]
  • Mönckeberg Arteriosclerosis. This is when the middle layer of the artery stiffens. This is because of calcium deposits.
  • Arteriolosclerosis. This affects the body's smaller arteries.[3]

The effects of arteriosclerosis can lead to lack of regular blood flow. Low blood flow to the brain can make you dizzy, numb, have slurred speech, and have other symptoms. Thromboses can further block the blood flow. This causes you to be at risk of getting stroke, or a heart attack.

Arteriosclerosis is a major health problem. Arteriosclerosis can be prevented by reducing risks. Risks are smoking, obesity, and low amounts of exercise. Doctors recommend dieting and exercise. Diets that are low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Some patients may take drugs that lower the amount of cholesterol in their blood.[4]

References change

  1. "Dorlands Medical Dictionary". Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31.
  2. "Atherosclerosis: MedlinePlus". Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  3. "Arteriosclerosis". World Book Advanced. World Book, 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
  4. Insel P.M. and Roth W.T. 2003. Cardiovascular disease and Cancer. In Core Concepts in Health, brief 9th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill.