When blood flow is blocked, serious cardiovascular disease occurs.
Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque builds up inside your arteries causing them to harden. This buildup may cause a total or partial blockage of blood flow, which limits the oxygen reaching your organs, including the heart, brain, legs and arms. It is also possible for blood clots to form from plaque rupture. Both scenarios can lead to a heart attack or stroke, or other serious diseases, such as coronary artery disease, angina, carotid artery disease, peripheral artery disease (PAD) and chronic kidney disease.
Atherosclerosis is a slow and progressive disease.
Certain conditions and behaviors contribute to atherosclerosis, including high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels and smoking. A physical exam, imaging scans and other diagnostic tests can help detect atherosclerosis; however, the condition is generally symptomless until an artery is significantly narrowed or totally blocked. In general, most patients are unaware of the condition until significant disease has already formed.
Some Symptoms Include
• Chest pain
• Abdominal, neck, back, jaw or shoulder/arm pain
• Cramping exertional leg pain
• Shortness of breath