What are the main causes
Hardening of the arteries is a process that often occurs with aging. As you grow older, plaque buildup narrows your arteries and so make it harder for blood to flow through them. Clots may form in these narrowed arteries and block blood flow. Pieces of plaque can also break off and move to smaller blood vessels, blocking them also.
This blockage starves tissues of blood and oxygen, which can result in damage or tissue death. This is a common cause of heart attack and stroke. High blood cholesterol levels can cause hardening of the arteries at a younger age. For many people high cholesterol levels are the result of an unhealthy lifestyle, most commonly, eating a diet that is high in fat.
In some cases, the plaque is part of a process that causes a weakening of the wall of an artery. This can lead to a bulge in an artery called an aneurysm. Aneurysms can break open or rupture. This causes bleeding that can be life threatening.
Some risk factors for hardening of the arteries are:
Hardening of the arteries does not cause symptoms until blood flow to part of the body becomes slowed or blocked. If the arteries to the heart become narrow, blood flow to the heart can slow down or stop. This can cause chest pain, shortness of breath and other symptoms. Narrowed or blocked arteries may also cause problems and symptoms in your intestines, kidneys, legs and brain.
Healthcare Screening Ireland
Healthcare Screening Ireland provide a Cardiovascular Risk assessment which is used to estimate the individual’s risk of developing Cardiovascular Disease. It identifies high risk people for primary or early prevention.
Cardiovascular Disease develops in silence, over many years. It is usually very advanced before people experience any symptoms. Please see the following link for more details:
Some guidelines recommend having your first cholesterol test at age 20. It is recommended that everyone should have their first screening test by age 35 in men, and age 45 in women.
Quit smoking -- this is the single most important change you can make to reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other lifestyle changes can also reduce your risk of hardening of the arteries:
Get your blood pressure checked every 1 - 2 years before age 50 and yearly after age 50. Have your blood pressure checked more often if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or you have had a stroke. Talk to your doctor about how often you should have your blood pressure checked.
If your blood pressure is high, it is important for you to lower it and keep it under control.
Your doctor may suggest taking aspirin or another medicine to help prevent blood clots from forming in your arteries. These medicines are called antiplatelet drugs. It is imperative that you DO NOT take aspirin without first talking to your doctor.
Hardening of the arteries cannot be reversed once it has occurred. However, lifestyle changes and treating high cholesterol levels can prevent or slow down the process.
The benefits of health screening can be felt by both the employer and the employee alike. Health screening is an effective way of increasing employee morale, and leads to reduced sickness and levels of absenteeism.
Smoking Cessation Programmes, Carbon Monoxide Lung Analysis, Cardiovascular Risk Assessment, Alcohol Awareness/Risk Assessment, Spirometry, Celiac Testing, Weight and Stress Management.