Artherosclerosis: unraveling the hidden cause of heart attack

in StemSocial2 months ago


Artherosclerosis is a disease of the artery which many of us don't know what it is. This disease have caused a lot of death in our environment. Many who don't know how this disease affects the body may not be able to know how they can prevent or curtail some of the things that can lead to it.

Atherosclerosis is a hardening and narrowing of your arteries caused by cholesterol plaques lining the artery over time. It can put blood flow at risk as your arteries become blocked

This disease of the artery has been a serious issue to mankind as inadequate blood flow to the heart has caused a lot of death.

The disease that might occur due to arteriosclerosis is tantamount to the area of the artery where the build is located.
Arteriosclerosis can be caused by the damage of the artery inner lining. This damage of the inner lining could be as a result of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and dyslipidemia.

Arteriosclerosis has four stages. These stages includes Endothelial damage and immune response,fatty streak, plaque growth and plaque rupture.

stage one
endothelial damage and immune response

This is a stage where the inner endothelial lining of the blood vessels got damaged. This inner layer is called intima which is lined by the endothelial cells. Damage of the endothelial cells exposes a lot of cholesterol to start gathering at the site of the injury which triggers an immune response.

Triggering of the immune response makes the body white cells to start assembling in the affected area. This white cells are termed the monocyte.

Stage two
fatty streak

This is a yellow deposition that occurs at the site of the injury. This occurs as a result of the coming together of the monocyte that turns into macrophages.
The macrophages helps to consume the invaders and the deposited cholesterol found in the affected area. These consumption result to a yellow like substance termed foamy cells.

Stage three
plaque growth

In this stage, dead foam cells and debris continue increasing at the fatty streak and eventually turns out to be bigger.
Even the artery smooth cells also piles up to form a fibrous cap.
The plaque gains cacium and therefore becomes stronger and occupies the space of the artery. This probably makes the artery to be narrower and thinner.

Stage four
plaque rupture

In this stage, the build up of the plaque eventually breaks up coming in contact with the blood to form blood clot. Formation of clot prevents blood passage and therefore leading to heart disease or stroke.


Coming to the causes of arteriosclerosis, I have made mention of some disease condition that are capable of possibly causing arteriosclerosis. Let's begin by explaining them and how they can lead to that.

Diabetes mellitus

This is a disease condition that has to do with the inability of the body to absorb glucose which lead to accumulation of them in blood.

These disease can be very dangerous more especially when not taking care of.
Coming to how this disease can cause arteriosclerosis.
Do you know that in a non diabetic patient a fast flow of blood triggers an enzyme called extracellular signal-regulated kinase 5(ERK-5). This erk5 therefore triggers an endothelial nitric oxide synthase which produces more nitric oxide.

The main function of nitric oxide is to dilate the blood vessels therefore making blood to flow efficiently through the vessels without any obstruction.
But in a diabetic patient, there is a production of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). This AGEs produced in a larger quantity interfere with the erk5 production.

Once erk5 is obstructed there will be no production of nitric oxide which increases the risk of having arteriosclerosis.


This is another leading cause of arteriosclerosis due to increased level of blood pressure.
Increase in blood pressure increases the pressure of the artery which can lead to a damage of the endothelium. Damage in the endothelium increases the accumulation of bad cholesterol (LDL) and white cells towards the injured part therefore causing occlusion of the vessel.


Today most people are prone to consuming a lot of food that has high cholesterol. Increase in body cholesterol level has also contributed as one of the major leading cause of arteriosclerosis.

Consuming a lot of fatty food increases the deposition of fat into the artery therefore causing narrowing of the blood vessels.

This in other hand prevents an adequate flow of blood through the vessels leading to what we known as stroke or heart disease.


Arteriosclerosis has pose a lot of serious issue to our health. People die regularly because of what narrowing of the artery has caused.

A lot of people suffers from one heart problem to the other, the reason being that the vessels sending blood to the heart has been blocked due to plaque or cholesterol build up.

Some can also be as a result of underlying disease like diabetes and the rest of them.
From this article, I believe you should have understood what arteriosclerosis is all about and the things are capable of causing them.

what is arteriosclerosis
how diabetes drives arteriosclerosis
arteriosclerosis and high blood pressure
causes of arteriosclerosis

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This is the first time I am hearing about this disease, thanks for sharing this knowledge.

You are welcome

Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis are two different disease. @hillaryisidore Though both have an effect on the heart. Atherosclerosis is caused by fat deposits while Arteriosclerosis comes with age. Both lead to the thickening or hardening of the artery wall.

This is insightful. Just to add, the importance of being active cannot be overemphasized as well as our diet, as it can help in it's prevention.