Arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease is also known as coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease or arteriosclerotic heart disease. The term arteriosclerosis is used to refer to the hardening of arteries within the heart. This cardiovascular disease is caused because of the building up of fatty deposits called atheroma within the coronary arteries. Atheroma is also better known as plaque. The build up can occur over a period of time within the inner lining of the arteries. In the initial stage fatty streaks can be seen in the form of yellow dots or lines along the walls of the arteries. The process of plaque building up within the walls of the arteries is called atherosclerosis. As this plaque builds up it results in the blood vessels in the heart becoming narrower and this restricts the supply of blood and oxygen to the heart.
As per the information given by the American Heart Association more than 15 million people suffer from arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease or some form of it. As men enter their 40s the chances of them having cardiovascular diseases and in particular this disease is much more than women. Some of causes of arteriosclerotic or coronary heart disease include:
Symptoms of Coronary Heart Disease
- Heredity factor
- Obesity and lack of physical activity
- High blood pressure
- Low levels of good cholesterol (HDL)
- High levels of harmful cholesterol (LDL)
- Increased levels of homocysteine
The reduction of blood flow in the heart causes people to experience chest pain known as stable angina. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and even a heart attack. A typical chest pain which is sudden and sharp is prevalent in women. Arteriosclerosis Detection and Diagnosis
Some tests such as electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, exercise stress test, nuclear scan, and coronary angiography are conducted to make a definite diagnosis. Other tests include electron beam computed tomography which is done to determine the extent of calcium within the lining of the arteries. Coronary CT angiography and Magnetic resonance angiography may also be done as per the decision of the physician/surgeon.Treatment for Arteriosclerosis
Depending upon the symptoms and the severity of each individual case, the line of treatment may be determined. Where the disease is relatively symptom free, the patient may be treated with medication or with an angioplasty along with stenting. Some of the medication prescribed in this cardiovascular disease includes ACE inhibitors, nitrates (for chest pain), statins (for cholesterol), blood thinners (for clots), calcium channel blockers and diuretics (blood pressure).
Some of the other treatment options include heart surgery that is minimally invasive and bypass surgery of the coronary artery.
Recovery of individuals suffering from cardiovascular diseases in general depends largely on the lifestyle. Better food and lifestyle choices also reduce the risk factors associated with having this debilitating disease. These changes include:
- Reduction in consumption of salt
- Eating healthy food that is low in fat, cholesterol
- Quitting smoking and other addictive habits
- Exercising regularly
- Keeping a check on blood sugar and blood pressure
- Avoiding and Controlling stress