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Causes of hardening of the arteries: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment


Atherosclerosis | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What is atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis thickening or hardening of the arteries. It is caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery. 


Plaque is made up of deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin. As it builds up in the arteries, the artery walls become thickened and stiff.

Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may start as early as childhood. However, it can progress rapidly.

What causes atherosclerosis?

It’s not clear exactly how atherosclerosis starts or what causes it. However, a gradual buildup of plaque or thickening due to inflammation occurs on the inside of the walls of the artery. This reduces blood flow and oxygen supply to the vital body organs and extremities.

What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis?

Risk factors for atherosclerosis, include:

What are the symptoms of atherosclerosis?

Signs and symptoms of atherosclerosis may develop gradually, and may be few, as the plaque gradually builds up in the artery. Symptoms may also vary depending on the affected artery. However, when a major artery is blocked, signs and symptoms may be severe, such as those occurring with heart attack, stroke, or blood clot.

The symptoms of atherosclerosis may look like other heart conditions. See your healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is atherosclerosis diagnosed?

First, your doctor will do a complete medical history and physical exam. You may also have one or more of these tests:

  • Cardiac catheterization. With this procedure, a long thin tube (catheter) is passed into the coronary arteries. X-rays are taken after a dye is injected into an artery to locate the narrowing, blockages, and other abnormalities of specific arteries.

  • Doppler sonography. A special probe is used to direct sound waves into a blood vessel to evaluate blood flow. An audio receiver amplifies the sound of the blood moving though the vessel. Faintness or absence of sound may mean there is a blockage. This is used to identify narrowing of the blood vessels of the abdomen, neck, or legs.

  • Blood pressure comparison. Comparing blood pressure measurements in the ankles and in the arms helps determine any constriction in blood flow. Significant differences may mean blood vessels are narrowed due to atherosclerosis.

  • MUGA/radionuclide angiography. This is a nuclear scan to see how the heart wall moves and how much blood is expelled with each heartbeat, while the person is at rest.

  • Thallium/myocardial perfusion scan. This is a nuclear scan given while the person is at rest or after exercise that may reveal areas of the heart muscle that are not getting enough blood.

  • Computerized tomography or CT. This is a type of X-ray test that can see if there is coronary calcification that may suggest a future heart problem.  

How is atherosclerosis treated?

Treatment for atherosclerosis may include lifestyle changes, medicine, and surgery.

Lifestyle changes

You can change some risk factors for atherosclerosis such as smoking, high cholesterol levels, high blood sugar (glucose) levels, lack of exercise, poor dietary habits, and high blood pressure.


Medicines that may be used to treat atherosclerosis include:

  • Antiplatelet medicines. These are medicines used to decrease the ability of platelets in the blood to stick together and cause clots. Aspirin, clopidogrel, ticlopidine, and dipyridamole are examples of antiplatelet medicines.

  • Anticoagulants. Also called blood thinners, these medicines work differently from antiplatelet medicines to decrease the ability of the blood to clot. Warfarin and heparin are examples of anticoagulants.

  • Cholesterol-lowering medicines.  These are medicines used to lower fats (lipids) in the blood, particularly low density lipid (LDL) cholesterol. Statins are a group of cholesterol-lowering medicines. They include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin among others. Bile acid sequestrants—colesevelam, cholestyramine and colestipol—and nicotinic acid are other types of medicine that may be used to reduce cholesterol levels. Your doctor may also prescribe fibrates to help improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

  • Blood pressure medicines. Several different groups of medicines act in different ways to lower blood pressure.

Coronary angioplasty

With this procedure, a long thin tube (catheter) is thread through a blood vessel to the heart. There, a balloon is inflated to create a bigger opening in the vessel to increase blood flow. Although angioplasty is done in other blood vessels elsewhere in the body, percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) refers to angioplasty in the coronary arteries to permit more blood flow into the heart. There are several types of PCI procedures, including:

  • Balloon angioplasty. A small balloon is inflated inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area.

  • Atherectomy. The blocked area inside the artery is shaved away by a tiny device on the end of a catheter.

  • Laser angioplasty. A laser used to vaporize the blockage in the artery.

  • Coronary artery stent. A tiny mesh coil is expanded inside the blocked artery to open the blocked area and is left in place to keep the artery open.

Coronary artery bypass

Most commonly referred to as bypass surgery, this surgery is often done in people who have angina (chest pain) due to coronary artery disease (where plaque has built up in the arteries). During the surgery, a bypass is created by grafting a piece of a healthy vein from elsewhere in the body and attaching it above and below the blocked area of a coronary artery. This lets blood flow around the blockage. Veins are usually taken from the leg or from the chest wall. Sometimes more than one artery needs to be bypassed during the same surgery.

What are the complications of atherosclerosis?

Plaque buildup inside the arteries reduces the blood flow. A heart attack may occur if the blood supply is reduced to the heart. A damaged heart muscle may not pump as well and can lead to heart failure. A stroke may occur if the blood supply is cut off to the brain. Severe pain and tissue death may occur if the blood supply is reduced to the arms and legs.

Can atherosclerosis be prevented?

You can prevent or delay atherosclerosis by reducing risk factors. This includes adopting a healthy lifestyle.  A healthy diet, losing weight, being physically active, and not smoking can help reduce your risk of atherosclerosis. A healthy diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, skinless chicken, seafood, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. A healthy diet also limits sodium, refined sugars and grains, and solid fats.

If you are at risk for atherosclerosis because of family history, or high cholesterol, it is important that you take medicines as directed by your healthcare provider.

When should I call my healthcare provider?

If your symptoms get worse or you have new symptoms, let your healthcare provider know.

Key points of atherosclerosis

  • Atherosclerosis is thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.

  • Risk factors may include high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, obesity, physical activity, and eating saturated fats.

  • Atherosclerosis can cause a heart attack, stroke, aneurysm, or blood clot.

  • You may need medicine, treatments, or surgery to reduce the complications of atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis | NHLBI, NIH

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries.

Plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your organs and other parts of your body.

Atherosclerosis can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke, or even death.


Figure A shows a normal artery with normal blood flow. The inset image shows a cross-section of a normal artery. Figure B shows an artery with plaque buildup. The inset image shows a cross-section of an artery with plaque buildup.

Atherosclerosis-Related Diseases

Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body, including arteries in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys. As a result, different diseases may develop based on which arteries are affected.

Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic heart disease happens when the arteries of the heart cannot deliver enough oxygen-rich blood to the tissues of the heart when it is needed during periods of stress or physical effort.

Coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease, is a type of ischemic heart disease caused by the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart.

This buildup can partially or totally block blood flow in the large arteries of the heart. If blood flow to your heart muscle is reduced or blocked, you may have angina (chest pain or discomfort) or a heart attack.

Coronary microvascular disease is another type of ischemic heart disease. It occurs when the heart’s tiny arteries do not function normally.

Carotid Artery Disease

Carotid (ka-ROT-id) artery disease occurs if plaque builds up in the arteries on each side of your neck (the carotid arteries). These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your brain. If blood flow to your brain is reduced or blocked, you may have a stroke.

Peripheral Artery Disease

Peripheral artery disease (P.A.D.) occurs if plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply oxygen-rich blood to your legs, arms, and pelvis.

If blood flow to these parts of your body is reduced or blocked, you may have numbness, pain, and, sometimes, dangerous infections.

Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease can occur if plaque builds up in the renal arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your kidneys.

Over time, chronic kidney disease causes a slow loss of kidney function. The main function of the kidneys is to remove waste and extra water from the body.


The cause of atherosclerosis isn’t known. However, certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise your risk for the disease. These conditions are known as risk factors.

You can control some risk factors, such as lack of physical activity, smoking, and an unhealthy diet. Others you can’t control, such as age and a family history of heart disease.

Some people who have atherosclerosis have no signs or symptoms. They may not be diagnosed until after a heart attack or stroke.

The main treatment for atherosclerosis is lifestyle changes. You also may need medicines and medical procedures. These treatments, along with ongoing medical care, can help you live a healthier life.


Improved treatments have reduced the number of deaths from atherosclerosis-related diseases. These treatments also have improved the quality of life for people who have these diseases. However, atherosclerosis remains a common health problem.

You may be able to prevent or delay atherosclerosis and the diseases it can cause. Making lifestyle changes and getting ongoing care can help you avoid the problems of atherosclerosis and live a long, healthy life.

Hardening of the Arteries | Hardening & Narrowing Heart Arteries Specialists near Cleveland, OH

Vascular specialists at University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of hardening or narrowing of the arteries, also called atherosclerotic disease or atherosclerosis. Our goal is to help patients living with this condition reduce their risk of a heart attack, stroke or aneurysm and live a higher quality of life.

Hardening or narrowing of the arteries is the buildup of cholesterol, fats and other fatty substances known as plaque on the inner walls of the arteries. This condition restricts blood flow to the heart and can affect the arteries in the heart, lungs and other organs. Atherosclerotic disease can occur in an artery anywhere in your body, leading to the following complications:

  • Coronary heart disease: Coronary artery disease affects the coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.
  • Carotid artery disease: Carotid artery disease impacts the arteries in the neck that supply blood to the brain.
  • Kidney disease: Kidney disease is the reduction of blood flow to the kidneys because of atherosclerosis of the renal arteries.
  • Peripheral artery disease: Peripheral artery disease occurs in the legs, arms and lower body and leads to circulation problems in the extremities.

Recognizing Risk Factors for Hardening or Narrowing of the Arteries

Besides aging, risk factors that may increase your chances of developing this condition include:

Reducing these risk factors is a vital aspect of treatment. To prevent and reverse the hardening or narrowing of arteries, we recommend a heart healthy diet that is low in saturated fat and high in whole grains, fruits and vegetables, along with regular exercise. We also suggest quitting smoking and controlling chronic conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.

Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

At University Hospitals, we offer a test called coronary artery calcium scoring. This non-invasive diagnostic procedure can warn you of any extensive hardening of the arteries. If your calcium score is high, your arteries are likely hardening and your risk of developing coronary artery disease is significant.

Coronary artery calcium scoring is recommended for men age 45 or older and women age 55 or older who do not have a history of coronary artery disease. It is also a good idea for anyone with one or more risk factors for heart disease.

Conservative and Surgical Treatments Available

In addition to reducing risk factors, the hardening or narrowing of arteries may be treated with medication. Our heart and vascular specialists at UH may prescribe medications to control blood pressure, lower cholesterol, prevent blood clot formation and improve blood flow.

If lifestyle changes and medications are not effective, one of the following surgical procedures may be recommended:

  • Angioplasty and stent placement: In an angioplasty, a surgeon will insert a long tube called a catheter into the narrowed part of your artery. Another catheter with a deflated balloon will then be passed through the catheter to the narrowed area. Next, the balloon will be inflated to compress the deposits against the artery walls. Lastly, a stent may be placed in your artery to keep it open.
  • Endarterectomy: An endarterectomy involves surgically removing fatty deposits from the walls of the narrowed artery.
  • Bypass surgery: In bypass surgery, a vessel from another part of your body is used to create a graft bypass and allow blood to flow around the blocked or narrowed artery.

Learn More about Coronary Artery Calcium Scoring

To learn more about diagnostic tests, including coronary artery calcium scoring, contact one of our heart specialists at University Hospitals. We have appointments available with our expert team at convenient locations near you.

Atherosclerosis (Blocked Arteries) | Aurora Health Care 

Atherosclerosis can be a complex condition but we’re here to help. The good news is that it’s highly treatable when diagnosed early. At Aurora, we use advanced, minimally invasive methods to reopen blocked arteries, so you can recover quicker and get back to living well.

What is atherosclerosis?

Arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis are conditions that involve the arteries, and sometimes people use the two words interchangeably.

Arteriosclerosis occurs when the arteries thicken or stiffen over time. This condition is commonly called hardening of the arteries.

Atherosclerosis is a type of arteriosclerosis and means there are blockages in the artery walls from the buildup of fats, cholesterol, calcium and other substances found in your blood. Called plaque, this buildup makes it harder for blood to flow and can cause chest pain, heart attack and other health issues.

Atherosclerosis complications

Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in your body, including those in your heart, legs, brain and kidneys. This means it can lead to a variety of disorders, depending on where it’s located.

  • Coronary artery disease: This happens when plaque forms in the arteries that supply blood to your heart.
  • Peripheral artery disease: This develops when plaque forms in the arteries that supply blood to your legs, arms or pelvis.
  • Carotid artery disease: When plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your brain, it can slow blood flow or create a narrower passage that is more likely to be blocked by blood clots. This can lead to a mini-stroke or stroke.
  • Chronic kidney disease: When plaque builds up in the arteries that supply blood to your kidneys, it can cause renal artery disease.
  • Aneurysm: Anywhere in the body, atherosclerosis can cause a bulge in the wall of an artery, which is called an aneurysm. If it bursts, an aneurysm can be life-threatening and there are often no symptoms.

Atherosclerosis symptoms

Because plaque and blockages usually build up gradually and painlessly, there usually are no signs of clogged arteries in the beginning. As atherosclerosis progresses, the signs depend on which arteries in your body are affected.

  • If in the arteries leading to your brain, you may experience a sudden numbness or weakness in your arms or legs, difficulty speaking or slurred speech, or drooping muscles in your face.
  • If in your coronary (heart) arteries, you may experience chest pain, shortness of breath or heart attack.
  • If in your leg arteries, you may feel pain when walking.

Atherosclerosis causes & risk factors

Doctors and researchers think atherosclerosis may be caused by damage to the arteries. This damage might be from:

  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes, obesity or insulin resistance
  • Genetics, such as a family history of heart disease
  • High cholesterol or high triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood
  • Inflammation caused by an infection or a disease, such as arthritis or lupus

Atherosclerosis diagnosis

There are a few signs that are characteristic of a narrowed or hardened artery. During a physical exam, your doctor might notice:

  • A swooshing sound, called a bruit, in your artery
  • A weak or absent pulse
  • Lower blood pressure in one limb

If your doctor finds any sign of hardening of the arteries, they may do additional tests, such as:

  • Blood tests to check your oxygen levels and organ function
  • Electrocardiogram (EKG) to check your heart rhythm and blood flow
  • Stress test to look at how your heart functions when it’s working hard, like during exercise. If you’re unable to exercise, we give you medication to simulate exercise during the test.
  • Imaging to get a picture of your blood vessels and organs and determine plaque buildup. There are many options your doctor can choose from, such as:
    • Computed tomography angiography (CTA) uses dye to show the inside of your arteries
    • Computed tomography, or CT scan, creates images of the heart, brain and other areas to see if blood vessels have hardened or have buildup
    • Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) uses magnetic fields to make the images
    • Intravascular ultrasound gives a cross-sectional view of the vessel walls from inside
    • Nuclear cardiology imaging uses small amounts of radioactive material to create the images
  • Ankle/brachial index compares the blood pressure in your ankle with the pressure in your arm to see how well your blood is flowing. Your doctor may use this test to diagnose peripheral artery disease.

Find out more about our heart and vascular testing and diagnosis.

Atherosclerosis treatment

When it comes to atherosclerosis, prevention is the best medicine. Many people aren’t even aware they have hardening of the arteries until they have a heart attack or stroke. But you can reduce your risk with a healthy lifestyle and diet.

And if you’re at risk, we may recommend medications to help lower your cholesterol, control your blood pressure or prevent blood clots.

In some cases, you might need more direct treatment to clear the arteries or prevent blockage or blood clots. We may recommend:

  • Cardiac catheterization: In this procedure, we thread a thin, flexible tube with a camera on the tip through a blood vessel in your arm or groin to your heart. If we find a blockage, we inflate a tiny balloon to open the artery, which is called angioplasty, or leave a small cage, or stent, in place to hold the artery open.
  • Bypass surgery: In this surgery, your surgeon creates a new path for blood to flow around the artery that’s been blocked by plaque.

Are you at risk for heart disease?

Knowing your risk factors of heart disease – the leading cause of death in the U.S. – can help you lower your chances of developing it. Our heart health quiz estimates your risk, determines which of your risk factors are controllable and gives you an idea what to do next based on your results.

Take the heart health quiz

Coronary Artery Disease (Atherosclerosis) – Ottawa Heart Institute

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is a condition which affects the arteries that supply the heart with blood. It is usually caused by atherosclerosis which is a buildup of plaque inside the artery walls. This buildup causes the inside of the arteries to become narrower and slows down the flow of blood.

There are many risk factors for CAD, Some are not controllable, but others can be modified. CAD develops over a long period of time and eventually progresses to the point where you may feel symptoms such as chest pain. Diagnosis is made using various tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG) or a stress test. Treatment for CAD includes lifestyle changes, medications, and sometimes, cardiac procedures or surgery.

About Coronary Artery Disease

The heart is a muscle which pumps blood around the body through a network of blood vessels called arteries.

The left side of the heart receives fresh, oxygen-rich blood from the lungs and then pumps it out through a large artery called the aorta. The aorta branches into smaller arteries that go to all parts of the body. The various parts of the body take the oxygen out of the blood. The now stale, oxygen-poor blood is returned to the right side of the heart through blood vessel called veins. The right side of the heart pumps this stale blood to the lungs where it picks up more oxygen and the cycle begins again.

The Coronary Arteries

The heart muscle, like every other part of the body, needs its own oxygen-rich blood supply. Arteries branch off the aorta and spread over the outside surface of the heart feeding oxygen to the muscle. The right coronary artery (RCA) supplies the bottom part of the heart. The short left main (LM) artery branches into the left anterior descending (LAD) artery that supplies the front of the heart and the circumflex (Cx) artery which supplies the back of the heart.

In coronary artery disease, there is a blockage in the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. The most common cause is atherosclerosis which is a buildup of plaque inside the walls of the arteries.

Plaque is made of several substances including cholesterol. Plaque buildup can start at an early age and is caused by a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors that are called risk factors. As plaque builds up over time, the arteries become increasingly narrow. Eventually, blood flow to parts of the heart is slowed or blocked.

Poor blood flow to the heart can cause angina. Blood clots are more likely to form in arteries which have reduced blood flow, which then further block the arteries. CAD can eventually lead to unstable angina or a heart attack.

Atherosclerosis | UVA Health

Atherosclerosis is the hardening of a blood vessel as a result of plaque buildup. Fatty deposits of cholesterol and calcium form plaque, which causes arteries to narrow and slow or even stop blood flow. Dependent upon the location of the blockage, it can cause:

  • Coronary heart disease — Loss of blood to areas of the heart
  • Stroke — Loss of blood to areas of the brain
  • Peripheral vascular disease — Loss of blood to the extremities

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

Repeated damage to the inner wall of an artery causes blood clots, called thrombi. They can lead to a further decrease in blood flow or becomes so large that it completely closes off the artery. It could also break into clumps, called emboli, and block off smaller arteries.

A heart attack occurs when the tissue supplied by the artery receives no oxygen.  Long-term atherosclerosis can also cause arteries to weaken or bulge, which can cause an aneurysm.

Are You at Risk?

Factors that increase your chance of getting atherosclerosis include:

  • Family history of the disease
  • Age 45 years and older in men; 55 years and older in women
  • Male gender
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor diet
  • Smoking
  • Diabetes 
  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Metabolic syndrome

Symptoms of Atherosclerosis

Early atherosclerosis doesn’t have any symptoms. Symptoms may begin to appear as the arteries harden or become narrower or if a clot blocks a blood vessel or a large blockage breaks free.

Symptoms depend on which arteries are affected. For example:

  • Coronary arteries of the heart may cause symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain.
  • Arteries to the brain may cause symptoms of a stroke such as weakness, vision problems, speech problems or headache.
  • Arteries in the lower extremities may cause pain in the legs or feet and trouble walking.

Diagnosis & Treatment at UVA

Most people are diagnosed after they develop symptoms, but you can be screened and treated for risk factors.

These tests evaluate atherosclerotic arteries:

  • Angiography
  • Cardiac catheterization
  • Ultrasound
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Treatment depends on the area of the body most affected. We offer the following treatment options.


Medication can lower your risk factors and help to:

  • Stop the formation of blood clots
  • Control blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Improve blood flow through narrowed arteries

Catheter-based Procedures

Your surgeon inserts a catheter into an artery, most often for arteries in the heart. These procedures include:

  • Balloon angioplasty — A balloon-tipped catheter presses plaque against the wall of the artery to increase blood flow.
  • Stenting— A wire mesh tube keeps a damaged artery open.
  • Atherectomy — Your surgeon cuts away and removes plaque so that blood can flow more easily. 


Surgical options include:

  • Arterioplasty — Repair of an aneurysm, usually done with synthetic tissue
  • Bypass — The creation of an alternate route for blood flow
  • Endarterectomy — The removal of the lining of an artery obstructed with large plaques. This surgery helps to improve blood flow. It’s most often performed on:
    • Carotid arteries in the neck that supply the brain
    • The aorta
    • Iliac and femoral arteries of the legs
    • Renal arteries that supply the kidneys with blood

Content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library. Edits to original content made by Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

How Does Smoking Cause Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is a life-threatening disease in which cholesterol, cellular waste, calcium, and other fatty substances are deposited along the lining of artery walls in your body. These sticky, yellowish deposits, known as plaque, build up over time, hindering your blood flow. If you smoke, you face an increased risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke.

What Is Atherosclerosis?

Also known as hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis often starts early in life and progresses slowly as you age. Atherosclerosis typically affects medium and large arteries in the body. Many scientists believe that damage to the endothelium, the innermost layer of the artery, is where atherosclerosis begins.

Damage to the endothelium allows plaque to build up along the lining of your arterial walls, and as it does, blood flow is constricted and the supply of oxygen to your body is decreased.

Effects of Atherosclerosis

Plaque can rupture and cause blood clots (thrombus). These blood clots can break away and enter your bloodstream, lodging in another part of your body, sometimes completely blocking blood flow, called an embolus.

Fatty embolisms that block blood flow to your heart cause a heart attack. If they block blood flow to your brain, they cause a stroke. If blood flow to your arms and legs is reduced, it can cause you to have difficulty walking and eventually lead to gangrene. Here are some proven causes of atherosclerosis.

Elevated Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

Elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood cause damage to your endothelium. Some cholesterol is necessary, and your body usually produces most of what it needs in your liver. The other source of cholesterol comes from animal fat and is known as LDL or “bad” cholesterol.

While our bodies need some LDL cholesterol, too much of it can raise your cholesterol levels dangerously and put you at risk for atherosclerosis and/or a heart attack. Foods that come from animals, such as chicken, eggs, dairy products, beef, and pork, contain cholesterol. Foods from plants do not contain cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure

Blood pressure is the result of two forces. One is the pressure created by your heart pumping blood through your circulatory system. The other is the force of the resistance of the arteries as your blood flows through them.

When your heart pumps, it pushes blood through the larger arteries and on into the smaller blood vessels, called arterioles. The arterioles can constrict or expand, and when they do, the resistance of the blood flow is affected.

The more difficult it is for the blood to flow, the higher your blood pressure will be.

When high blood pressure goes untreated for a long time and your heart is forced to pump harder to get the blood to flow, the result is often an enlarged and weakened heart muscle. High blood pressure hurts your arteries and arterioles over time as well. They become scarred and hardened, putting you at risk for atherosclerosis.

Increased Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis

Cigarette smoke aggravates both of the above risk factors for atherosclerosis in the following ways:

  • Cholesterol: The toxins in tobacco smoke lower your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL or “good” cholesterol) while raising levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL or “bad” cholesterol).
  • Nicotine and Carbon Monoxide: The nicotine and carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke damage your endothelium, setting the stage for the build-up of plaque.
  • High Blood Pressure: While cigarette smoking won’t cause high blood pressure, if you smoke and you also have hypertension, smoking can increase the risk of malignant hypertension, a dangerous form of high blood pressure. Smoking is hard on the heart.

It’s Never Too Late to Quit

If you’re a smoker and you’re thinking about quitting, remember, it’s never too late to quit smoking. Regardless of your age or how many years you’ve smoked, research has shown that your body will begin the healing process within 20 minutes of your last cigarette.

Between 5 and 15 years of quitting, your coronary disease and stroke risk drop to that of nonsmokers.

90,000 Atherosclerosis of the arteries of the lower extremities, treatment and diagnosis of causes, symptoms in Moscow

Evgeny Ryabtsev

21 June 2021

Many thanks to Sergey Vladimirovich Deryabin for his attentive attitude, sensitivity, and most importantly for the operation. After the operation, I felt like a full-fledged person. I can walk and run!
I would like to thank the staff of the Department of Vascular Surgery for their attentiveness and responsiveness….

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Bakulin Gennady Nikolaevich

19 June 2021

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Marat Aleksandrovich Takoev for his professionalism and attentive attitude. Marat Alexandrovich carried out an examination in a short time, prescribed and performed an operation for me.I am not a Muscovite, so it is very important that everything was done in one of my visits …

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Medvedev Vasily Alekseevich

3 May 2021

I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the vascular surgeon Pavel Yuryevich Parshin and the entire team of the vascular surgery center for their professionalism, attention and sensitivity to patients.I have varicose veins of the legs. After the operation, I began to feel like a healthy person despite …

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Olga Vdovenko

13 March 2020

Many thanks to Sergey Vladimirovich for his talent! It is happiness that such competent, skillful and talented, caring people work exactly where they are most needed.
Many thanks from my whole family and I wish you further professional success and worthy …

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Lantsov Vasily Vladimirovich

11 March 2019

I express my deep gratitude to Deryabin Sergey Vladimirovich for a sensitive and professional approach to work! Thank you very much! You and your work gave me almost a second life, completely putting me on my feet and allowing me to move freely and forget about the terrible, painful bo…

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Golubeva Natalia Vladimirovna

6 September 2018

Many thanks to the medical staff of your noble and complex department, which is headed by Aleksey Vasilyevich Konev, for their professionalism, attention and sensitivity to patients. Low bow to the cardiac surgeon Kolmakov Ernest Aleksandrovich – he has golden hands and the soul of the present…

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22 May 2018

I would like to leave my comment about vascular doctors: Deryabin Sergey Vladimirovich and Titovich Alexey Stanislavovich. Very attentive, kind, friendly and the best in their field. Both are handsome, especially Deryabin! I advise! Yes, yes, Sergey Vladimirovich, you are just a gorgeous specialist…

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I would like to leave my comment about vascular doctors: Deryabin Sergey Vladimirovich and Titovich Alexey Stanislavovich. Very attentive, kind, friendly and the best in their field. Both are handsome, especially Deryabin! I advise! Yes, yes, Sergey Vladimirovich, you are just a gorgeous specialist…

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Fessrashnikov Mikhail Alexandrovich

24 January 2018

I, Mikhail Aleksandrovich Bessstrashnikov, would like to express my deep gratitude to the doctors of the Department of Vascular Surgery of the Federal Scientific and Clinical Center, namely, I would like to thank: Dr. med. Chupin Andrey Valerievich – Head of the Center for Vascular Surgery, Professor, Ph.M.Sc. Orekhova Pavel …

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Elena Alexandrovna

3 November 2017

I want to express my deep gratitude to the team that “put me on my feet”. The anesthesiologist (unfortunately, I do not know his name) correctly informed me about the upcoming preparations for the operation and did his job professionally.Surgeons – the highest pi …

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90,000 Treatment in Germany and Switzerland

What is atherosclerosis?

Hardening of the walls of the arteries, medically called atherosclerosis, is a chronic disease of the arteries as a result of deposits (plaques) forming on the walls of the vessels. Plaques can form from fats in the blood, connective tissue, blood clots, and to a small extent calcium.This process is popularly called “hardening of the arteries.”

When plaque builds up, the walls of the arteries lose their elasticity and become thicker. The blood flow is obstructed. As the disease progresses, this process leads to poor circulation and the formation of blood clots (platelet clots). Atherosclerosis can affect all arteries in the body, and most often, as a rule, the arteries of the neck, heart, pelvis and legs.

What are the reasons for the development of atherosclerosis?

The exact mechanism of atherosclerosis is still not clear.The most common cause is damage to the vessel wall. There are several theories that explain this damage. The main reason is considered to be an increase in blood pressure.

The main risk factors for the development of atherosclerosis:

  • High blood pressure
  • Excess weight
  • Diabetes
  • Elevated cholesterol levels
  • Smoking

What are the symptoms of the disease?

Atherosclerosis, as a rule, develops slowly and is asymptomatic in the first stages.The first signs of the disease begin to appear only in old age. Depending on which vessels are damaged, different symptoms may occur.

Ischemic disease

the heart occurs when the coronary arteries narrow. Carotid artery disease is associated with a risk of stroke. If the arteries in the legs and pelvis are affected, it can lead to

obliterating atherosclerosis of peripheral arteries

and severe muscle pain.Erectile dysfunction can also be a sign of atherosclerosis.

A serious consequence of atherosclerosis is an aneurysm, the so-called protrusion of the vessel wall. The aneurysm forms slowly. As the diameter increases, the risk of sudden rupture and severe bleeding increases.

Diagnosis: how is atherosclerosis diagnosed?

The first signs of atherosclerosis are already noticeable when taking anamnesis (patient survey) along with a physical examination. In addition, blood sugar and cholesterol levels are measured.Further diagnostic measures are determined by the localization of the vascular lesion.

  • If the carotid artery is damaged, Doppler ultrasound (ultrasound) is done.
  • Exercise ECG is a common method for diagnosing coronary artery disease.
  • If there are signs of atherosclerosis of the renal arteries, kidney function is checked and blood and urine tests are taken.
  • In some cases, angiography (x-ray examination of the vessels) and intracoronary ultrasound (ultrasound of the vessels of the inner walls of the coronary arteries) are also performed.

What are the treatments for atherosclerosis?

In many cases, lifestyle changes and medication are enough to slow or stop the disease. In the early stages, this even leads to resorption of plaques.

The drugs for the treatment of atherosclerosis are basically the same as for other cardiovascular diseases: drugs for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol, anticoagulants.

A healthy lifestyle is of particular importance.Exercise, a healthy diet, and the elimination of risk factors such as smoking and obesity all lead to very good results.

Surgical treatments are usually used in advanced or life-threatening conditions. They include

balloon anglioplasty






carotid thromboendarterectomy

, T.That is, peeling off the plaque from the inner wall of the carotid artery to expand it.

What are the prognosis and likelihood of progression of atherosclerosis?

The prognosis largely depends on the degree of vascular lesions. Since even eliminating risk factors alone leads to significant improvements, it is important to change your lifestyle in the right direction as soon as possible.

If the first symptoms of the disease appear, you should consult a doctor. The neglect of the disease can lead to serious complications such as heart attack or stroke.


Gerold Gerd: Internal Medicine. Cologne, self-published 2012 (Herold, Gerd: Innere Medizin. Köln, Eigenverlag 2012).

Arashte K .; Bankler, H.-W. ; Bieber, C .; and etc:. Internal medicine. Stuttgart, ed. Georg Thieme KG 2009 (Arasteh, K.; Baenkler, H.-W.; Bieber, C.; et al .: Innere Medizin. Stuttgart, Georg Thieme Verlag KG 2009).

Lung tissue compaction syndrome in the assessment of computed tomographic images of the chest organs in the clinician’s practice: pathogenesis, significance, differential diagnosis | Karnaushkina

1.Tyurin I.E. Computed tomography of the chest cavity. SPb: ELBI-SPb; 2003.

2. Verschakelen J. A., De Wever W. Computed Tomography of the Lung. A Pattern Approach. Springer; 2007.

3. Collins, J. CT signs and patterns of lung disease. Radiol. Clin. North. Am. 2001; 39 (6): 1115-1135.

4.Reed J.C. Chest Radiology. Plain Film Patterns and Differential Diagnoses. Mosby; 2011.

5. Tyurin I.E. X-ray diagnostics of severe pneumonia and influenza. Radiation diagnostics and therapy. 2016; (1): 13-16. DOI: 10.22328 / 2079-5343-2016-1-13-16.

6. Reed J.C. Chest Radiology: Patterns and Differential Diagnoses. Elsevier; 2017.

7.Muller N.L., Silva C.I.S. The Teaching Files: Chest. Elsevier; 2009.

8. Winningham P.J., Martínez-Jiménez S., Rosado-de-Christenson M.L. et al. Bronchiolitis: A practical approach for the general radiologist. RadioGraphics. 2017; 37 (3): 777-794. DOI: 10.1148 / rg.2017160131.

9. Averyanov A.V. V.N. Lesnyak E.A. Kogan Rare lung diseases: diagnosis and treatment.Moscow: Medical Information Agency; 2016.

10. Georgiadou S.P., Sipsas N.V., Marom E.M., Kontoyiannis D.P. The diagnostic value of halo and reversed halo signs for invasive mold infections in compromised hosts. Clin. Infect. Dis. 2011; 52 (9): 1144-1155. Doi: 10.1093 / cid / cir122.

11. Tyurin I.E. X-ray diagnostics of community-acquired pneumonia.Polyclinic. 2013; (3-1): 7-11.

12. Lange S., Walsh D. Radiation diagnosis of diseases of the chest. Per. from English ed. S.K. Ternovy, A.I. Shekhter. M .: GEOTAR-Media; 2010.

13. MacMahon H., Naidich D.P., Goo J.M. et al. Guidelines for Management of Incidental Pulmonary Nodules Detected on CT Images: From the Fleischner Society 2017.Radiology. 2017; 284 (1): 228-243. DOI: 10.1148 / radiol.2017161659.

14. Reduced lung-cancer mortality with low-dose computed tomographic screening. The National Lung Screening Trial Research Team. N. Engl. J. Med. 2011; 365 (5): 395-409. DOI: 10.1056 / NEJMoa1102873.

90,000 7 factors due to which blood vessels become clogged and lose elasticity

The elasticity of blood vessels allows blood to circulate faster in the body
Photo: pixabaycom

The vascular specialist identified seven risk factors that damage the circulatory system and accelerate the aging process.

Elastic vessels through which blood circulates are important for health, beauty and youth depend on them. At the same time, due to problems with the vascular system, the body is not supplied with blood properly, which means it ages faster.

– Our vessels deliver oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body. This works best when they are not clogged and elastic. Narrow and stiff arteries cannot supply enough blood to the body, resulting in disease and tissue aging, ” said Martin Halle, an expert on vascular diseases from Germany .

To slow the aging of the blood vessels and therefore the entire body, he recommends avoiding the following risk factors:

  1. Obesity. The fatty layer releases inflammatory substances into the blood that damage the inner walls of blood vessels. The more fat in the body, the more inflammatory substances.

  2. Cholesterol. Deposits in blood vessels, which can lead to hardening.

  3. Sugar. High blood sugar destroys the protective layer of blood vessels and dissolves their cells.

  4. High blood pressure. If the body pumps blood through the vessels at too high a pressure, the walls can burst.

  5. Chronic stress. When the body continually secretes stress hormones, blood pressure rises, which damages blood vessels.

  6. Smoking. Nicotine attacks the inner walls of blood vessels and causes cell death.Holes and scars can form in the vessels.

  7. Chronic inflammation. Many of the factors already mentioned, such as obesity, smoking and poor diet, can cause chronic inflammation in the body. They also damage blood vessels and accelerate aging in the body.

Earlier, “Kubanskie Novosti” told how to reduce high blood pressure without medication.

90,000 Why is atherosclerosis dangerous?

About what this disease is, what are its precursors, is it possible to cure atherosclerosis?

– Natalia Vyacheslavovna, first, tell us what kind of ailment it is – atherosclerosis?
– Atherosclerosis translated from Greek means gruel, induration, hardening.It is a common chronic arterial disease characterized by the formation of single or multiple foci of cholesterol deposits. Simply put, “plaques” form on the inner lining of the arteries, which partially or completely cover the arteries themselves. This leads to the fact that a person has circulatory disorders.

– Who is most often affected by the disease?
– There are forms of the disease in which atherosclerotic vascular disease occurs as early as 20 – 30 years old.But mostly older people get sick. At 40 – 49 years, the incidence of atherosclerosis in men is three times higher than in women. At an older age, gender differences no longer play a significant role. But it should still be noted that before the age of 59, men suffer from atherosclerosis twice as often as women, but after 70 years of this disease, both are equally susceptible.

– What is the reason for this phenomenon?
– It’s simple: women are protected by their sex hormones – estrogens. But with age, their level decreases, respectively, the risk of developing atherosclerosis increases.

– Does the inheritance factor matter?
– Unfortunately, yes. The most severe forms of atherosclerosis are those with heredity. Familial hypercholesterolemia (high levels of cholesterol in the blood) is a very serious pathology. The risk of developing coronary heart disease and strokes in these people is 10 to 20 times higher than in those who are not burdened with this inheritance. By the age of 30 in such patients, the vessels of the heart and brain are affected.Fortunately, this pathology is not very common: about 1 – 2 people out of five hundred suffer from it.

– What else can provoke the development of the disease?
– There are many reasons. The most common are smoking, overweight, high blood pressure, stress, and a sedentary lifestyle. Hypertension, diabetes mellitus, gout, cholelithiasis, malnutrition, and constant psycho-emotional stress also contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
Smoking doubles the risk of developing atherosclerosis. In smokers, under the influence of substances contained in tobacco smoke, an increase in heart rate occurs, a spasm (narrowing) of blood vessels develops, which leads to difficulty in the work of the heart.

– What changes occur in the human body suffering from atherosclerosis?
– In healthy people, blood flows freely through the arteries to all parts of the body, supplying them with oxygen and other nutrients.But in a person who has an elevated level of cholesterol in the blood, atherosclerotic plaques begin to form on the inner surface of the blood vessels. The next stage in the development of atherosclerosis is the appearance of blood clots, which further narrow the lumen of the artery. It is very dangerous! If the vessels of the heart are damaged, myocardial infarction develops, and if the arteries supplying the brain are affected, a stroke may occur.

– Is it really impossible to prevent the development of the disease?
– It is possible, but it is not easy.The fact is that a person begins to feel the first signs of a lack of blood supply only when the lumen of the artery narrows by more than half. In this case, it is no longer a matter of preventing the disease, but of treating atherosclerosis.
That is why, if you or your loved ones are at risk of developing this disease, be more careful about the signals that your body gives. If you periodically experience a feeling of weakness or numbness (for example, arms or legs), for some time the ability to articulate speech is lost, contact a specialist immediately.Usually, such symptoms disappear completely within a day, and the person calms down, does not go to the doctor. Meanwhile, in no case can you ignore such symptoms! These may be the first “bells” of a stroke.

– It is generally accepted that this disease is a companion of old age …
– Insidious delusion! Aging is a physiological and irreversible process, and atherosclerosis is a specific disease that can be treated. And the sooner the patient seeks a doctor, the better. With atherosclerosis, a person begins to change gradually: at first, his attention decreases, it becomes difficult to perceive new information.Then the circle of interests narrows, difficulties appear when switching from one type of activity to another, speed in work is lost. Those who are engaged in mental work more and more often encounter mistakes, slow thinking appears, activity and initiative decrease …
With progressive atherosclerosis of the cerebral vessels, the memory of patients deteriorates, mental performance decreases: a person hardly remembers what he did yesterday , what he negotiated, with whom he met and even what he ate for lunch.Further – more: begins to forget names and patronymics, phone numbers of friends, relatives. The memory of childhood and school is retained for the longest time, but it is also gradually erased. In a severe stage of the disease, only fragments of incoherent memories, unfinished thoughts and words incomprehensible to him remain in the memory of a person …

– Thanks to fluorography, mankind has learned to recognize tuberculosis in a timely manner. Is it possible, by examining the vessels of the brain, to find out if this or that person has signs of atherosclerosis?
– You can.Modern examination methods such as Doppler ultrasound can detect this disease at an early stage. Doppler ultrasonography can be done today in many clinics in Yaroslavl. This examination is especially necessary for those who are in the so-called risk group, since it allows you to recognize the disease in time and avoid a stroke.

– Natalia Vyacheslavovna, how is atherosclerosis treated?
– Currently, effective surgical methods are used to treat atherosclerosis and its consequences: in some cases, the lumen of the narrowed vessel is expanded, in others, the atherosclerotic plaques themselves are removed, in the third, they replace part of the affected vessel and create new pathways for blood flow.There is also a large arsenal of tablets that lower blood cholesterol levels.
To fight atherosclerosis, you will have to change your life as a whole. It is necessary to move more, walk on foot, give up bad habits, and, if possible, avoid negative emotions. And you should start with the normalization of weight and the transition to the so-called anti-sclerotic diet.

– Readers ask if it is possible to make an appointment with the specialists of your department and to you personally for an appointment and how best to do it.
– You can register, the staff of our department is receiving patients. To do this, you need to call: 44-96-54, 91-90-03, 73-97-74, you will be assigned the date and time of the appointment.

1. Calorie restriction to 2700 kcal with normal body weight, and in excess – up to 2000 – 2400 kcal / day.
2. Restriction of animal fat and foods rich in cholesterol, in particular by-products: liver, kidneys, lungs, brains, as well as liver sausage and egg yolks (no more than 5 pieces per week).
3. Exclusion from the diet of chocolate, cocoa, butter dough.
4. Restriction of sugar and other sweets (no more than 70 g per day).
5. Restriction of the so-called extractive substances (found in meat and fish broths, mushroom broths, fried meat and fish).
6. Introduction to the diet of products with anti-sclerotic action: vegetable, peanut, flaxseed, cottonseed, corn, sunflower oil, cottage cheese, fresh low-fat fish (especially cod), oatmeal, buckwheat and millet groats, soy flour products.

90,000 Male sexual problems


Sexual dysfunction in men

Sexual dysfunction can affect men of all ages, but is especially common in older men. The most common problems associated with sexual dysfunction include ejaculation disorders, erectile dysfunction, and suppressed sexual desire. These problems can often be corrected by fixing the root causes.
What is sexual dysfunction in men?
Sexual dysfunction is any physical or psychological problem that prevents you or your partner from receiving sexual satisfaction. Male sexual dysfunction is a common health problem affecting men of all ages, but more common with age. Treatment can often help men with sexual dysfunction.
Main types of male sexual dysfunction:
* Erectile dysfunction (difficulty in achieving / maintaining an erection).
* Premature ejaculation (reaching orgasm too quickly).
* Delayed or inhibited ejaculation (reaching orgasm too slowly or not).
* Low libido (decreased interest in sex).
What causes sexual dysfunction in men?
Physical causes of general sexual dysfunction can be:
* Low testosterone levels.
* Prescription medications (antidepressants, hypertension medications).
* Diseases of the blood vessels such as atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and high blood pressure
* Stroke or nerve damage from diabetes or surgery.
* Smoking
* Alcoholism and drug addiction
Psychological reasons may include:
* Anxiety about sexual activity.
* Problems in marriage or relationships.
* Depression, guilt.
* Consequences of past sexual trauma.
* Work-related stress and anxiety.
How does sexual dysfunction affect men?
The most common problems men face with sexual dysfunction are problems with ejaculation, achieving and maintaining an erection, and decreased sex drive.
Ejaculation disorders
Ejaculation problems are:
* Premature ejaculation (PE): Ejaculation that occurs before or too soon after penetration.
* Delayed or delayed ejaculation: Ejaculation does not occur or takes a very long time.
• Retrograde ejaculation: During orgasm, ejaculate returns back to the bladder rather than through the end of the penis.
The exact cause of premature ejaculation (PE) is unknown. Although many cases of PE are due to anxiety about performance during sex, other factors may include:
* Stress.
* Temporary depression.
* History of sexual suppression.
* Low self-esteem.
* Lack of communication or unresolved conflict with a partner.
Research shows that the breakdown of serotonin, a naturally occurring chemical that affects mood, may play a role in PE. Certain medications, including some antidepressants, can interfere with ejaculation and can damage the nerves in the back or spinal cord.
Physical causes of delayed or delayed ejaculation can include chronic (long-term) health problems, drug side effects, alcohol abuse, or surgery.The problem can also be caused by psychological factors such as depression, anxiety, stress, or relationship problems.
Retrograde ejaculation is most common in diabetic men with diabetic nerve damage. Problems with the nerves of the bladder and bladder neck cause ejaculate to flow backward. In other men, retrograde ejaculation can be a side effect of certain medications or occur after bladder neck or prostate surgery.
Erectile dysfunction (ED )
Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the inability to get and maintain an erection during intercourse. ED is fairly common, with research showing that about half of American men over 40 suffer from it. Causes of ED include:
* Diseases that affect blood flow, such as hardening of the arteries.
* Nervous disorders.
* Stress, relationship conflicts, depression and anxiety about performance.
* Penile trauma.
* Chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure.
* Unhealthy habits such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, overeating and lack of exercise.
Low libido (decreased libido)
Low libido means that your desire or interest for sex has decreased. The condition is often associated with low levels of the male hormone testosterone. Testosterone supports sex drive, sperm production, muscle, hair, and bone.Low testosterone levels can affect your body and mood.
Decreased sex drive can also be caused by depression, anxiety, or relationship difficulties. Diabetes, high blood pressure, and certain medications such as antidepressants can also help reduce libido.

Don’t get bogged down in your problem, our urologists will help you.

90,000 Cardiovascular diseases – symptoms and treatment

  • Home
  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system

Cardiovascular diseases – diseases of the circulatory system at the beginning of the 20th century occupied no more than a few percent in the structure of the pathology of the population.Back in the 50s. according to a mass survey in more than 50 cities and rural areas of the Russian Federation, they ranked 10th – 11th in the ranking of diseases. The situation was approximately the same abroad. Subsequently, the changed lifestyle of the population, industrialization, urbanization with psychoemotional stress and other risk factors of a civilized society, as well as the improved diagnosis of coronary artery disease, hypertension and other lesions, sharply increased the proportion of circulatory diseases. Today CVS diseases are in the first place due to the causes of disability and mortality of the population of the Russian Federation.

Such cardiovascular diseases as hypertension (HD), atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease (IHD) constitute the so-called group of “social diseases”, i.e. the culprits of these diseases are the achievements of human civilization, and the reasons are:

1.chronic stress;

2. hypodynamia – low mobility;

3. excess body weight due to inappropriate nutrition;

4.tobacco smoking.

Hypertension is a condition of persistent high blood pressure. According to the WHO nomenclature, the indicator of hypertension (from the Greek hiper + tonos – over + stress) is considered to be 160 mm Hg. Art. and higher for systolic (the highest value during contraction of the heart muscle) and 95 mm Hg. Art. and higher for diastolic (the lowest value during the period of relaxation of the heart) pressure.

The main cause of hypertension is neuropsychic stress.And the dangerous consequences are ruptures of the walls of blood vessels due to high pressure in them. If this occurs in the thickness of the heart muscle, then this is a heart attack, and if in the substance of the brain, it is a stroke.

Atherosclerosis (from the Greek athere + sclerosis – gruel + compaction, hardening) – is a lesion of the arteries (blood vessels through which oxygen-rich blood moves, from the heart to organs and tissues along the large circle of blood circulation), in which their internal surface there are numerous yellowish plaques containing a large amount of fatty substances, especially cholesterol and its esters.

The essence of atherosclerosis is that cholesterol is deposited on the inner wall of blood vessels in the form of lipid spots, and then in the form of plaques that protrude into the lumen of the arteries. Over time, the plaques grow with connective tissue (sclerosed), the wall of the vessels above them is damaged, and a blood clot can form in this area. Sometimes the plaques themselves can completely block the lumen of the vessel, which leads to the cessation of nutrition of the cells around it. If this occurs in the thickness of the heart muscle, then it is called – a heart attack, if in the substance of the brain – ischemic (from the Greek.isc + haima – delay, failure + local anemia) stroke (from Latin insulto – to jump, attack, strike).

Cholesterol – our body needs for: building cell membranes, the formation of bile, the synthesis of sex hormones, the production of vitamin D. Only 20% of cholesterol enters the body with food, and 80% is produced by itself (in the liver). Ischemic heart disease is damage to the heart muscle (myocardium) caused by a disorder of the coronary (inside the heart muscle) circulation.The main forms of coronary artery disease are angina pectoris (angina pectoris), myocardial infarction (a piece of dead tissue in the thickness of the heart muscle) and postinfarction cardiosclerosis (a scar that occurs on the heart after the healing of an infarction wound).

The first stage of ischemic heart disease is angina pectoris, which manifests itself in a patient with retrosternal pains of a pressing, compressing or burning character, which can radiate to the left shoulder, scapula, resembling heartburn. The sternum is the bone located in the middle of the front surface of the chest, to which the ribs are attached.It covers the heart, located in the middle of the chest, and only a small part of it – the top, protrudes from behind it on the left. If you feel stabbing pains in the heart area, then they have nothing to do with CVS – these are manifestations of neurosis.

Pain with angina pectoris signals to us that the heart muscle does not have enough oxygen. During the work of the heart muscle, like any other, a decay product is formed – lactic acid, which must be washed out of it with a sufficient amount of blood.But if a vessel is affected by an atherosclerotic plaque, and even compressed as a result of a jump in blood pressure, then the amount of blood passing through it decreases, and may even stop completely. Any acid acting on the nerve endings causes pain, burning.

With myocardial infarction due to the cessation of oxygen access to the tissue of the heart, muscle, at the site of occlusion (blockage of the vessel), its death occurs. But this process does not develop immediately, but after 2-4 hours from the onset of a heart attack.

Stroke, “brainstroke” – acute violation of cerebral circulation in hypertension, atherosclerosis, etc.It manifests itself as headache, vomiting, disturbance of consciousness, paralysis, etc.

Stroke is now becoming the main socio-medical problem of neurology. Every year around 6 million people suffer cerebral stroke in the world, and more than 450 thousand in Russia, that is, every 1.5 minutes, one of the Russians develops this disease. In large metropolitan areas of Russia, the number of acute strokes ranges from 100 to 120 per day. The early 30-day mortality rate after a stroke is 35%; about 50% of patients die within a year.

Stroke is currently one of the main causes of disability in the population. Fewer than 20% of survivors of cerebral stroke can return to their previous work. Ischemic brain lesions predominate among all types of stroke. Ischemic strokes account for 70-85% of cases, cerebral hemorrhages – 20-25. Stroke is the second most frequent killer after myocardial infarction.

Risk factors for the development of stroke are: genetic predisposition to vascular diseases of the brain, disorders of fat metabolism, hypertension, obesity, insufficient physical activity, smoking, patient’s age, repeated stress and prolonged neuropsychic stress.

Strokes can be classified according to the nature of their course. The least dangerous stroke is a transient ischemic stroke, or minor stroke, which is caused by a short-term impairment of cerebral circulation. A progressive stroke at first causes very small changes in the nervous system, and after 1-2 days it worsens. With an extensive stroke, the nervous system experiences a strong “shock” from the very beginning. The earlier the patient seeks a doctor and begins treatment, the more favorable the prognosis.

Chinese medicine considers diseases of the cardiovascular system as a violation of the passage of energy (excess or deficiency) in the meridian of the heart, the meridian of blood circulation, and the related meridian of the small intestine, the meridian of the endocrine system, the meridian of the liver, the meridian of the spleen / pancreas, the meridian of the kidneys and meridian of the lungs.

The heart meridian belongs to the system of manual Yin meridians, paired. The direction of energy in the meridian is centrifugal.The time of maximum activity of the heart meridian is from 11 to 13 hours (at this time it is recommended to engage in physical work), the time of minimum activity is from 23 to 1 hour.

According to the canons of ancient oriental medicine, the heart meridian is a functional system that mainly affects the functional state of the blood circulation and heart. In addition, the ancient canons state that mental activity, consciousness and emotions are under the control of the heart. A person remains up to those vigorous and cheerful, as long as his heart is healthy.Deterioration in the work of the heart leads to low activity, irritability, lethargy, indecision, etc. In this regard, the points of the heart meridian are given the main value in the treatment of various kinds of emotional-stress disorders, neuroses, depression and some other functional diseases. Acupressure in these cases gives “the improvement of the person’s state of mind and the calming of the heart.” Eastern doctors believe that “the tongue is the mirror of the heart, and the face is a reflection of its condition.” The heart also affects the condition of the eyes and ears.A pleasant “fire raging in the heart” makes a person vigilant, and “a decrease in the energy of the heart” is accompanied by hearing impairment.

The circulation of blood in the arteries and veins is the result of the interaction of the energies of YANG and YIN. The heartbeats felt in the arteries are caused by the circulatory system itself. All life processes proceed as a rhythmic alternation of stress and relaxation (relaxation). Blood moves from the lungs, where it is enriched with oxygen, acquires a bright red color and is filled with Yang energy, to the small intestine, where it gives off oxygen and is saturated with YIN energy.

The movement of the blood flow is controlled by the Yang and Yin forces, which are connected with two opposite organs – the lungs and the small intestine, which are two poles of energy. The heart does not beat without the flow of blood. Both oxygenated and depleted blood move through the heart, causing it to contract and then relax.

The change in the rhythm of the heart is felt by the whole body, it manifests itself in all organic processes, controlling and calibrating their rhythms. From here follows the provisions of ancient medicine – the meridian of the heart governs the arteries between the lungs and the small intestine and “the lungs control the heart”.

The meridian of blood circulation (pericardium) and sexual function governs the main circulation of the “vital force” (Chi energy), which ensures the connection and joint work of the internal organs. It also has the function of protecting against the penetration of pathogenic microbes. Both the meridian itself and its internal organs are closely connected with the heart. Both the meridian and the heart share the same external signs of impending danger, they use similar mechanisms to ensure optimal functioning, and they begin in the same part of the chest.Exercising general control over the regulation of the circulation of Chi energy in the entire vascular system, the meridian also provides the genitals with energy for their satisfactory functioning.

The time of maximum activity of the pericardial meridian is from 19 to 21 hours. By this time, Chinese doctors recommend ending physical activity and moving on to mental activities.

The heart from positions of Chinese medicine and the theory of five elements as the basis of everything (including the human body) refers to the element of Fire.The emotion of the heart is joy, the color is red.

The heart governs the activities of all organs, and therefore in Chinese medicine it is called “the official who leads the rulers.” If the Spirit of the Heart is disturbed, then a person becomes restless, he suffers from insomnia or heavy dreams, he becomes forgetful, inattentive – up to a disturbance of consciousness.

Pathologies in any organ can lead to heart disease. The most common syndrome of disorders in the cardiovascular system is “fever in the liver and liver congestion.”This heat rises, and this, in turn, leads to an increase in blood pressure, to tachycardia.

Patients with “liver fever and liver congestion” have inflamed red eyes and a red complexion.

Another common heart disease syndrome is associated with the kidneys. Hypertension caused by kidney disease is also known in European medicine. In the Eastern tradition, this syndrome is called “kidney qi void energy.”

Qi can be called the energy of life, circulating through the channels of the body.Syndromes of fullness and emptiness of Qi indicate a violation of the harmony of human life and, consequently, a disease.

The syndrome of “emptiness of the qi energy of the kidneys” has a second figurative name “the water of the kidneys does not fill the fire of the heart.” The kidneys, which in the system of Chinese medicine are considered “the first mother of the body”, lack energy, the harmony of life is disturbed. The result is tachycardia, heart rhythm disturbances, and increased blood pressure.

Another common heart disease syndrome is associated with abnormalities in the spleen.With improper diet, addiction to fatty, sweet, raw and cold foods, addiction to alcohol, the spleen and stomach are damaged, and dampness accumulates. “The mucus produced by the spleen clogs the heart and brain.”

In addition to other cardiological manifestations of the syndrome, in this case “the window of the brain is closed”, the person’s consciousness is confused, in severe cases – up to delirium.

Syndrome of “emptiness of blood” is close to the European diagnosis of “iron deficiency anemia”.

Thus, diseases of the cardiovascular system can be treated in a comprehensive manner, using the methods of oriental medicine and the methods of electropuncture diagnostics according to Voll and the Vegetative resonance test based on them. This approach is carried out in the “Center for Energy Information Medicine”.