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Media with Source "National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute"

NHLBI

What is Atherosclerosis? arteriosclerosis 

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body.

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NHLBI

What Causes Atherosclerosis?

Although the exact cause of atherosclerosis isn't known, studies show that atherosclerosis is a slow, complex disease that may start in childhood. It develops faster as you age.

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NHLBI

Causes of High Blood Pressure

Changes, either from genes or the environment, in the body’s normal functions may cause high blood pressure, including changes to kidney fluid and salt balances, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system, sympathetic nervous system activity, and blood vessel structure and function.

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NHLBI

Who Is at Risk for Atherosclerosis?

Certain traits, conditions, or habits may raise your risk for the disease. Major risk factors include unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, smoking, insulin resistance, diabetes, being overweight, lack of physical activity, an unhealthy diet, older age, and family history of early heart disease.

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NHLBI

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis usually doesn't cause signs and symptoms until it severely narrows or totally blocks a coronary, carotid, peripheral, or renal artery. Many people don't know they have the disease until they have a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.

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NHLBI

Description of High Blood Pressure hypertension  prehypertension 

High blood pressure is a common disease in which blood flows through blood vessels (arteries) at higher than normal pressures.

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NHLBI

How Is Atherosclerosis Diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose atherosclerosis based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and results from one or more tests: blood test, electrocardiogram (EKG), chest x ray, ankle/brachial index, echocardiography, computed tomography (CT) scan, stress testing, and angiography.

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NHLBI

How Can Atherosclerosis Be Prevented or Delayed?

Taking action to control your risk factors—through heart-healthy eating, physical activity, quitting smoking, and weight control—can help prevent or delay atherosclerosis and its related diseases.

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NHLBI

Living With Atherosclerosis

Adopting a healthy lifestyle, along with ongoing care and emotional support, may help you prevent or delay atherosclerosis and the problems it can cause.

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NHLBI

What Is Cardiomyopathy?

Cardiomyopathy refers to diseases of the heart muscle in which the heart muscle becomes enlarged, thick, or rigid. As cardiomyopathy worsens, the heart becomes weaker.

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NHLBI

Types of Cardiomyopathy

The types of cardiomyopathy include hypertrophic, dilated, restrictive, arrhythmogenic right ventricular, and unclassified cardiomyopathy.

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What Causes Cardiomyopathy?

Many times, the cause of cardiomyopathy isn’t known. Cardiomyopathy can be acquired (you are not born with the condition but develop it due to another disease, condition, or factor) or inherited (your parents passed the gene for the disease on to you).

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NHLBI

Who Is at Risk for Cardiomyopathy?

Certain diseases, conditions, or factors can raise your risk for cardiomyopathy. Major risk factors include a family history, preexisting disease or condition, diabetes, diseases that can damage the heart, long-term alcoholism, and long-term high blood pressure.

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NHLBI

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Cardiomyopathy?

Some people who have cardiomyopathy never have signs or symptoms or only have signs and symptoms in later stages of the disease. As cardiomyopathy worsens and the heart weakens, signs and symptoms of heart failure—trouble breathing, fatigue, and swelling—usually occur.

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NHLBI

How Is Cardiomyopathy Diagnosed?

Your doctor will diagnose cardiomyopathy based on your medical and family histories, a physical exam, and the results from one or more tests: blood test, chest x ray, electrocardiogram (EKG), Holter and event monitors, echocardiography, stress testing, and genetic testing. To confirm a diagnosis or prepare for surgery, additional procedures may include cardiac catheterization, coronary angiography, and myocardial biopsy.

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