Overview

What is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is the buildup of fats, cholesterol and other substances in and on your artery walls. This buildup is called plaque and causes the arteries to narrow making it difficult for blood to flow through. The buildup may occur in any artery in your body, including your heart, legs and kidneys. Atherosclerosis can result in a shortage of blood and oxygen in various tissues of your body. Pieces of plaque can also break off, causing a blood clot. If left untreated, atherosclerosis can lead to heart attack, stroke, or heart failure.

Symptoms

What are the signs of Atherosclerosis?

The signs and symptoms of Atherosclerosis include:

Chest pain/pressure (angina)

Chest pain/pressure (angina)

Pain or weakness in legs, arms

Pain or weakness in legs, arms

Shortness of breath

Shortness of breath

Fatigue

Fatigue

Confusion

Confusion

High blood pressure

High blood pressure

Causes

What are the causes of Atherosclerosis?

Common causes atherosclerosis include:

High cholesterol

High cholesterol

High blood pressure

High blood pressure

Poor diet

Poor diet

Ageing

Ageing

Family history

Family history

Lack of physical activity

Lack of physical activity

Smoking

Smoking

Diabetes

Diabetes

Diagnosis

How do I know if I have Atherosclerosis?

To diagnose atherosclerosis, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history and/ or request the following tests:

Lipid profile (blood)

Lipid profile (blood)

Cardiovascular profile

Cardiovascular profile

Calcium score test

Calcium score test

Find a Practitioner

See a list of practitioners who specialise in treating Atherosclerosis