What is atherosclerosis ?

At the origin of most cardiovascular diseases, atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries. Especially related to the cholesterol, this condition affects mostly older people. Definition, causes, symptoms, treatment… We will deliver to you all the secrets of the atherosclerosis.



Atherosclerosis is part of the main heart diseases. The cholesterol is deposited gradually on the walls of your arteries. These white patches of newly formed, called atheromas, decrease the diameter of the arteries up to the brain. The arteries become less flexible and their expansion less effective. Thus, when they contract, it causes spasms. Finally, blood clots form up to fill in completely the arteries. So we are talking of thrombosis.

Risk factors

Excess cholesterol is a predominant risk factor, since it is the formation of plaques of cholesterol, which leads to this pathology. However, other metabolic diseases can also lead to the occurrence of atherosclerosis, the image of diabetes and gout. On the other hand, all individuals are not equal in the face of the disease. Thus, older men are the most affected by this disease. Those who have a family history ofvascular accidents also have a greater risk. In addition, if thehigh blood pressure increases the risk of occurrence, the hygiene of life is to be taken very seriously. Food that is too rich, tobacco and alcohol are often at the origin of the disease. The stress and the sedentary lifestyle doesn’t help either to guard against cardio-vascular diseases. Also of note is that women who use oral contraception and those who are in the stage of menopause are the populations most affected.


It is in aging that appears in atherosclerosis. Gradually, the arteries get clogged and the first symptoms may appear after age 40, especially if the patient has genetic factors and poor lifestyle habits. It is often asymptomatic and is discovered only in the case of stroke when cerebral arteries are blocked. When atherosclerosis affects the coronary arteries, angina may be recognized and, often, it is a myocardial infarction which is the symptom. When the aorta is affected, the aneurysm or the aortic dissection can be diagnosed. On the other hand, if these are the legs that are affected, doctors may notice a arteritis of the lower limbs. Finally, when the obstruction takes place at the level of the kidneys, the disease is manifested by high blood pressure renal.


It is first of all a change of lifestyle advocated by the doctors in cases of atherosclerosis. Because the disease is due to excess of cholesterol, the patient is overweight should adopt a diet the less calorie as possible, limiting fat and carbohydrates. If it was, however, a body mass satisfactory, he will need to reduce saturated animal fat and fast carbs. Slow-burning sugars and fats unsaturated vegetable will be preferred. If, despite this diet, the cholesterol is not reduced, drug treatment will be prescribed. It should be noted that alcohol and tobacco can also be the subject of a restriction to reduce the risk.

In conclusion, atherosclerosis and vascular diseases can block the arteries, should be taken very seriously. In addition to the genetic factor (age, sex, background) on which one cannot act, the senior citizens can minimize the risk of occurrence of atherosclerosis by improving their hygiene of life, in particular with a well-balanced diet that is low in fats and lipids.

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