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Also known as hardening of the arteries, arteriosclerosis is actually a group of diseases that are characterized by hard, thick artery walls. This condition may lead to other forms of heart disease and high blood pressure.


The condition shows no symptoms until you've reached the stage of already having developed hardened arteries. It is best to take precautionary measures to prevent this disease before it occurs.


One of the main causes of arteriosclerosis is a diet high in excess fats. The fats turn to cholesterol and triglycerides, which in turn becomes plaque that builds up along the artery walls, thinning the diameter of the artery. When arteries become blocked or partially blocked, sufficient blood flow is prevented from reaching the areas of the body near that blockage. Smoking adds to the risk because it constricts the arteries. High blood pressure can be another risk factor. Diabetics are also at a higher risk.


When the circulation is reduced due to this condition, it can result in paralysis, gangrene or disorders of the heart. Depending on where the blockages occur, you may develop peripheral arterial disease, coronary heart disease or paralytic stroke.

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