Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

ASVD Overview

Another name for ASVD is Atherosclerosis.

What is atherosclerosis?
A person with atherosclerosis has narrowing and hardening of the arteries, which carry oxygenated blood from the heart to the body. Advanced atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply the heart can lead to coronary artery disease. Atherosclerosis in the carotid arteries in the neck and the arteries in the brain can lead to stroke. Atherosclerosis in the arteries that supply the lower limbs is the number one cause of peripheral vascular disease.

What are the symptoms of atherosclerosis?
Atherosclerosis does not cause symptoms until there is significant blockage in an artery. Atherosclerosis is the primary cause of heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Symptoms of atherosclerosis may include chest pain (angina), breathing difficulty, leg pain, and a wide variety of stroke symptoms.

How does the doctor treat atherosclerosis?
Important general measures to reduce atherosclerosis include regular exercise, maintain normal body weight, low fat diet, and avoid smoking. Patients should be encouraged to manage high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Continue to ASVD Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed ASVD References
  1. Burns DM. Epidemiology of smoking-induced cardiovascular disease. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003 Jul-Aug;46(1):11-29. [12920698]
  2. de Leeuw K, Kallenberg C, Bijl M. Accelerated atherosclerosis in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Jun;1051:362-71. [16126978]
  3. Hansson GK. Inflammation, atherosclerosis, and coronary artery disease. N Engl J Med. 2005 Apr 21;352(16):1685-95. [15843671]
  4. Lederle FA, Nelson DB, Joseph AM. Smokers' relative risk for aortic aneurysm compared with other smoking-related diseases: a systematic review. J Vasc Surg. 2003 Aug;38(2):329-34. [12891116]
  5. Libby P, Theroux P. Pathophysiology of coronary artery disease. Circulation. 2005 Jun 28;111(25):3481-8. [15983262]
  6. Standridge JB. Hypertension and atherosclerosis: clinical implications from the ALLHAT Trial. Curr Atheroscler Rep. 2005 Mar;7(2):132-9. [15727729]
  7. Tiong AY, Brieger D. Inflammation and coronary artery disease. Am Heart J. 2005 Jul;150(1):11-8. [16084145]
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