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Welcome to Vegas Lawyer. This site is for people who were hurt in Nevada. Contact us for a free consultation. You may want to read the Las Vegas Personal Injury Law introduction on our home page. Also, you can get an overview of other Nevada Legal Topics before you read the Article below.
Atherosclerosis is the thickening of the blood vessels, which can lead to clogging and reduced oxygen delivery to tissues. When the coronary vessels are blocked, not enough blood reaches the heart, leading to a myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attack. When the vessels leading to sections of the brain are compromised, a stroke occurs.
Low density lipoproteins (LDL) are sometimes called the "bad cholesterol". LDL levels are strongly correlated with increased cardiovascular risk. At high concentrations, LDLs accumulate on the outer surface of the blood vessels and are subsequently oxidized. In the oxidized form, the LDL can enter the tunica intima, the linings of the blood vessels. The endothelial cells of the blood vessels secrete MCP-1, a chemoattractant protein for monocytes. Monocytes infiltrate the tunica intima and become macrophages. Ingestion of the concentrated oxidized LDL transforms the macrophages to foam cells. A fatty streak along the vessels is characteristic of the foam cells.
The lesion of the endothelial lining, accumulation of foam cells, and the concomitant growth of smooth muscle cells lead to the thickening of the blood vessels. The smooth muscle cells also absorb the oxidized LDL and become foam cells themselves. The process continues, eventually leading to a blocked vessel.
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