Atherosclerosis - A Silent Killer
Atherosclerosis, the disease underlying coronary heart disease, often begins early in life and involves the formation of a build-up, called plaques, inside the heart’s arteries. The disease is asymptomatic, meaning without symptoms, and unfortunately for many people chest pain or a heart attack is the first symptom of this disease – and in some cases the only symptom.
As you are reading this page, you almost certainly fall into one of the following categories:
A: You, or a dear one, have been diagnosed as having atherosclerosis, high cholesterol or heart disease.
B: You haven’t been diagnosed as being at risk of heart disease, but you want to live a longer healthier life.
Well, it doesn’t really matter which category you actually fit, the important thing is that we ALL owe it to ourselves to take care of our health and reduce the risk of arterosclerosis and heart disease as much as possible.
Due to the gradual formation of the build-up in the arteries, the first symptoms occur long after the disease is well established. Often, for approximately 33% of people suffering from arterosclerosis, the first heart attack is fatal. Heart disease, as is commonly known, is the most common form of death in the modern world. In the USA alone, heart disease takes away around half a million people each and every year.
A common definition for the disease is:
A hardening of the arteries, wherein cholesterol, fat, and other substances in the blood build up along the inside walls of the arteries. As the process continues, the arteries to the heart may narrow, cutting down the flow of oxigen-rich blood and nutrients to the heart muscle, or myocardium.
Over the years medical research has clearly shown that a high total cholesterol count is an important marker, or risk factor, for developing heart disease. A total cholesterol profile is made up of the “bad” LDL cholesterol, the “good” HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. It is now common knowledge that controlling cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease and can also improve the life expectancy of people already diagnosed with heart disease.
Living a healthy lifestyle is extremely important if you wish to control your cholesterol levels. Remember, only two thirds of people that suffer a heart attack get a second chance to do something about it. Throughout our site you will find information and links to external sites, that will help you control your cholesterol, fight the battle against atherosclerosis and heart disease and live a longer healthier life.
Click here to What is a Heart Attack to find more information about the causes, risks, and prevention of heart attacks. Or
to find questions and answers about cholesterol.
To go to the top of the page, hit the link: atherosclerosis
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