How Coronary Atherosclerosis develops?

Coronary atherosclerosis is a disease which is characterized by the accumulation of white blood cells, cell debris, fatty substances such as cholesterol and fatty acids, calcium and fibrous tissue on the walls of the coronary arteries which supply blood to the heart muscle. The plaque increases in size over a long period of time. When the size of plaque increases, the artery becomes narrow and the flow of the blood to the heart is reduced. The artery becomes so narrow, with time that the blood supply is inadequate to meet the needs of the heart, and the part of the heart muscle which gets affected does not function normally. This results in chest pain. Total blockage of the coronary artery leads to a heart attack.

To know about pathophysiology of atherosclerosis, you need to consult your doctor. A proper understanding of pathophysiology of atherosclerosis is essential so that you know how to prevent the disease and also to develop new and effective treatments. Once coronary atherosclerosis develops it has to be managed for life. Surgical procedures, such as coronary angioplasty and bypass surgery, remove the cholesterol deposits or diseased portions of blood vessels successfully, but still there is a risk of blockage by plaque.

Risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis

The risk factors for coronary atherosclerosis are male gender, advanced age, family history, high blood pressure that is hypertension, diabetes, and a high level of cholesterol. Other factors include certain levels of fats in the blood especially among women, smoking and exposure to people who are smoking, that is, passive smoking, obesity and poor physical fitness. Emotional stress including anger, depression, and anxiety also lead in the development of coronary artery diseases. Coronary atherosclerosis is a disease of men. Increased age is a risk factor for both men and women later in life. Men who are older than 45 years and women who are older than 55 years are at an increased risk for developing coronary atherosclerosis.

Treatment of coronary atherosclerosis

In order to start the treatment for coronary atherosclerosis it is essential that you understand the plaque and the plaque rupture. Cardiologists know that in many cases, the plaque which causes damage results in syndromes of ACS and AMI. For the treatment of such ruptured plaques you need to take antiplatelet and antithrombotic agents. Currently it is not possible to clinically identify these vulnerable plaques. The risk factors should be taken care of during the treatment of coronary atherosclerosis. One needs to quit smoking and also avoid being a passive smoker. Hypertension should be managed through diet, exercise, stress management and medication. Diabetes should also be in control. Diet and exercise can help in reducing the cholesterol levels. If your diet is not working, then there are cholesterol lowering drugs which you can use to lower cholesterol.