Cardiovascular Diseases

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  • Created by: alice
  • Created on: 23-05-10 17:57



  • The artery wall is made up of several layers and these are the endothelium, the wall made of elastic tissue and the lumen which blood flows through.

Diagram of an artery showing patches of atheroma (098.gif) (

  • The endothelium is the inner lining and this is usually very smooth - if it gets damaged, then white blood cells and lipids in the blood clump together at the damaged point under the lining and form fatty streaks.
  • Over time, more white blood cells, lipids and connective tissues build up there - hardening and making a fibrous plaque known as an Atheroma.
  • This plaque can partially block the lumen
  • It restricts the blood flow coming through the artery
  • This causes blood pressure to increase

Risk factors for getting atheroma: (generally high blood pressure - Hypertension)

most of these are lifestyle risk factors:(

  • Smoking
  • Bad Diet including too much salt
  • Lack of Exercise
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Diabetes
  • Strong genetic links in family history
  • Growing older - age



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