Hardening of the Arteries (cont.)
Shabir Bhimji, MD
Shehnaz Shaikh, MD
Alan D Forker, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
The outcome of atherosclerosis is variable. At one end of the spectrum, many people with critical limitation of blood flow to vital organs, like the heart and brain, survive for many years. At the other end of the spectrum, sudden cardiac death may be the first clinical manifestation of atherosclerosis. So, the emphasis must be placed on the individual to control his or her own identified risk factors and prevent atherosclerosis in the first place.
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Atherosclerosis is a disease of large and medium-sized muscular arteries and is characterized by endothelial dysfunction, vascular inflammation, and the buildup of lipids, cholesterol, calcium, and cellular debris within the intima of the vessel wall.