How Atherosclerosis occurs

Atherosclerosis is a cardiovascular disease, which is by far the largest single killer most developed and developing countries. 
The immediate cause of most of these deaths is Heart attack or Stroke, but these events are the end results of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries. This begins many years before symptoms are detected. Hence atherosclerosis is called the “Athemm killer”.

Healthy arteries have smooth internal lining of endothelial cells. Chronic high blood pressure, smoking, a high-fat diet or micro-organisms can damage this lining. Deposits called plaques begin to form at sites of endothelial damage. The plaques consist principally of fat and cholesterol deposits, blood platelets, decomposing muscle cells and other tissue. These tissues and calcium deposits invade the plaques and make the artery wall less elastic, this process is what gives the term “atherosclerosis” or “hardening of the arteries”.

The growing plaque narrows the artery and causes turbulence in the blood flowing over it. Blood platelets stick to the plaque and initiate the formation a blood clot, called a thrombus, which further blocks the artery. Since plaques usually reduce blood flow in major arteries, their presence represents a serious health risk, leading to heart diseases, like stroke, heart attack, hypertension and the disruption of kidney and intestinal function. Poor circulation, also as result of plaque build-up, impairs movement of the limbs. The plaques unfortunately become larger and more numerous with age, especially in people with high levels 01 cholesterol in their diet and bloodstream.