Atherosclerosis: Thickening of Arterial Wall

Some years back, one of my friends asked me that a person known to him is having pain in the left arm while walking, compelling him to take a break; and gets back the pain sometimes after resuming his walk. I suggested an electrocardiogram (ECG), and as expected by me a coronary artery disease was diagnosed. This symptom is somewhat a tale tell story of angina pain of heart. In my childhood, I have seen dancing of some superficial arteries of old aged persons and surprised over it; now, I am clear about its cause i.e. it is due to thickening of wall of peripheral arteries from atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis; there occurs deposit of cholesterol, calcium, some blood cells and some other components in the inner layer of blood vessels called intima. This is equally seen larger as well as smaller blood vessels in the body. Smoking is an important cause of atherosclerosis.

Recently, researchers have found out the role of immune cells in the formation of atheroma after triggering an inflammation in the intima of blood vessels. Drugs targeting these cells also cause harm to useful effects of these cells. So, now they are targeting research, how to destroy the bad effect of cells leaving ahead the good effects. They also found out one molecule that switches on the harmful effect of these immune cells. The new research will be focusing more on blocking the action of the molecule.

Pot bellied persons due excess abdominal fat; the apples are prone to develop atherosclerosis than the pears; persons having fat deposit around hip, researchers say. Smoking, alcohol, sedentary life style and more saturated fat consumption are some of the contributing factors for atherosclerosis. Measurements of waist circumference (WC), waist to hip ratio (WHR) and Body mass index (BMI) are some of predictors of risk of heart attack. Waist circumference >32 inches in female and >37 inches in male have the risk of heart attack. Persons having WHR > 0.7 and BMI >30 are at the risk of developing atherosclerosis.

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  1. #1 by Cameron Kelly on June 20, 2010 - 7:02 pm

    aspirin is a good anti-inflammatory still in use today. ,”;

  2. #2 by Luis Howard on July 11, 2010 - 5:27 pm

    aspirin is great for reducing pain and inflammation just be careful with overdose though’~’

    • #3 by Dr.Prahallad on July 12, 2010 - 12:31 am

      Now researchers think atherosclerosis arises from inflammation set by fat cells and trying to find out solution.

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