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Atherosclerosis The major underlying cause of cardiovascular disease has been associated with atherosclerosis. This is the buildup of fatty deposits within the walls of arteries that restricts the flow of blood. Ultimately, the arteries may get blocked affecting the heart, brain and other parts of the body. This disease can begin in childhood. The linings of the arteries becomes thickened by fatty deposits called plaque. The artery walls become hard and thick as these deposits build up. Then the arteries lose their ability to expand and contract. Blood cannot move through them as easily. If a clot of blood or plaque becomes lodged in one of these arteries, then the artery may become completely blocked. Then the body tissues that the artery supplies are deprived of needed oxygen and…show more content…
If a blood clot in a narrowed artery blocks the flow of blood to the part of the heart muscle, a heart attack occurs. The section of heart muscle that does not receive the blood begins to die. This condition is called myocardial infarction, or M.I. As a result of M.I., heart action can be seriously impaired. A heart attack may be a sudden episode. However, the condition that leads to an attack, coronary heart disease, develops over a long period of time. Often, the symptoms of heart attack are confused with those of indigestion. Signs of a heart attack include uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest, and sometimes in the arms and shoulders, lasting for two minutes or more. Sweating, dizziness, nausea, fainting, or shortness of breath may also occur. The dying area may upset normal electrical activity. The heart starts a wild, twitching movement called ventricular fibrillation. Then the heart is no longer pumping blood effectively. If this happens, CPR should be administered

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