Atherosclerosis refers to hardening of the arteries. It is a systemic disease. Atherosclerosis leads to heart disease, carotid disease, and peripheral arterial disease. Individuals with a history of smoking, hypertension, hyperlipidemia and or diabetes are more likely to be affected.
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death and disability world wide. In the US alone 600,000 individuals a year will die from heart disease. There are about 800,000 strokes a year . Twenty percent ( about 150,000)of all stroke victims will die. In addition, in the US over 12 million individuals have peripheral arterial disease.
As the population ages the incidence of cardiac , cerebrovascular and peripheral arterial disease continues to rise. It is predicted by the year 2030 there will be over 75 million Americans over the age of 65. Atherosclerosis is reaching epidemic proportions.
The best thing an individual can do is to know their risk factors and be tested.
To learn more about atherosclerosis please read the blog entitled RACE to live.