Hardening of the Arteries Topic Guide
Atherosclerosis (Hardening of the Arteries): Hardening of the arteries (arthrosclerosis) is a disorder that occurs when fat and cholesterol are deposited in the walls of the arteries, and harden into plaque that can block arteries. Cause is unknown, but risk factors include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, obesity, diet, age, being male or African-American. Hardening of the arteries may range from no symptoms, to heart attack, stroke, or sudden cardiac death. Treatment includes lifestyle modification, medications, or surgery.
Heart Attack A heart attack is an interruption in blood flow to the heart muscle. Arterial plaque rupture is often the cause of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may include chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and nausea. Emergency heart catheterization and thrombolytic therapy may be used to treat a heart attack.
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