HEART FACTS #2

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Atherosclerosis is a disease affecting blood vessels called arteries.

Fatty material called plaque, builds up within the inner lining of arteries causing them to narrow and be less flexible. These plaque deposits are made up of cholesterol, fatty substances, cellular waste products, calcium and fibrin (a clotting material in the blood). This narrowing reduces the blood flow and oxygen that is being delivered to vital organs.  Atherosclerosis can occur anywhere in your body, but it is especially dangerous when it affects the arteries leading to your brain, heart, kidneys and legs.  

When atherosclerosis affects the arteries that supply blood to the heart, the coronary arteries, it can restrict blood flow to the heart muscle. This is known as Coronary Artery Disease (CAD).

Coronary artery disease can cause angina symptoms, such as chest pain or pressure. It can lead to a heart attack.  Sadly, it the most common type of heart disease & the #1 killer of both men and women in the United States.

BE PROACTIVE!

You can slow or stop atherosclerosis by taking care of the risk factors. That means a healthy diet, exercise, and no smoking. These changes won’t remove blockages, but they’re proven to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Once you have a blockage, it’s generally there to stay. But with medication and lifestyle changes, you can slow or stop plaques. Drugs for high cholesterol and high blood pressure will slow and may even halt atherosclerosis. They could also lower your risk of hearts attack and strokes.

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