Arteriosclerosis is the stiffening or hardening of artery walls. Atherosclerosis is the narrowing or contracting of the artery because of plaque build-up. In many cases, it results in coronary artery disease, stroke, other heart diseases, or kidney problems. When LDL cholesterol collects on the artery wall, several chemical changes occur. This leads to inflammation which is one reason for arteriosclerosis. When plaque grows for a long time, it forms a fibrous cap. This cap when breaks down, forms a blood clot which blocks the flow of blood and triggers heart attack.
Angioplasty is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart with the use of a stent. Angioplasty and stenting can also improve the quality of your life by reducing the chances of heart disease. It is also beneficial in improving the functioning of the kidneys. During angioplasty, a balloon and stent is placed in the narrow part of the artery. When the balloon is inflated, the stent expands. This insertion of stent or wire gauze shifts back the plaque and widens the artery wall. The balloon is then deflated and removed leaving the stent inside to improve the flow of blood.
These are some common risk factors for a heart attack. Genetics play an important role in defining the risk of a person for getting a heart attack. High cholesterol leads to thinning of arteries which often leads to heart attack. Diabetes, obesity, etc are also other important risk factors that increase the chances of a heart attack. People suffering from high blood pressure also are at a higher risk. Some other factors which lead to heart attack are stress, lack of physical activity, consumption of alcohol, smoking, autoimmune disorders, etc.
Narrowing and hardening of arteries causes the symptoms of coronary artery disease (coronary heart disease). Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque or fatty material buildup) in arteries and inflammation are the major causes for coronary artery disease. Healthy arteries have smooth inner walls which allow the blood to flow through them easily. Plaque formation is unstable and results in blockages. This leads to the cardiovascular problems, chest pain (angina) and often results in heart attack.