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