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 Dr. George Jacob
Heart Infocenter

Holistic-online.com

Arteriosclerosis/Atherosclerosis

Causes of/Risk Factors for Arteriosclerosis/Atherosclerosis

Strong risk factors are:

Cigarette smoking: Smoking doubles the risk of heart disease and accelerates arterial disease in the legs.

High blood pressure

Age: Atherosclerosis is primarily a disorder of middle and later life. The arteries become less elastic and more susceptible to arteriosclerosis with age.

High blood cholesterol in the form of low-density lipoproteins. (High LDL and low HDL)

Gender: Men are more affected than women. After the menopause the rates in men and women are equal.

Heredity:  A history of close relatives developing arterial disease under the age of 55.

Diabetes:  Diabetics have twice the risk of strokes, three times the risk of heart attacks and are 50 times more likely to have amputation of a foot for gangrene.

Improper diet - Saturated fats, deep-fried food, too much meat and too little fiber, fresh vegetables and fruits have serious consequences. Coffee, caffeinated colas and alcohol are high on the danger list. A diet rich in sweets, fast food and refined food will lead to arteriosclerosis.

Consumption of refined foods such as white-flour products, pastas and rice which contain little natural fiber or nutrients.

Sedentary lifestyle: Too little physical activity increases risks for developing blood vessel-related diseases. Exercise improves circulation and is excellent for the heart, lungs and muscle tone.

High stress: A fast-paced, High-stress lifestyle increases blood pressure and places undue pressure on the heart and arteries.

Lipoprotein (a): Lipoprotein (a) is a type of fat-protein molecule that resembles LDL cholesterol but has an additional piece to its structure called apoprotein (a). Lipoprotein (a) is a major component of the plaques found in the blood vessels of atherosclerosis patients. People with coronary artery disease exhibit elevated lipoprotein (a).

High homocysteine - Generally associated with low folic acid, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12.

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