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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What are the symptoms of hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease?

Hi. My Mom's autopsy report stated that she passed away from hypertensive atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. She was 61. She has swelling sometime and breathing problems (we thought due to bronchitis and a little touch of asthma), but never any other problems. I have read that this disease usually has no symptoms. Could you explin in detail what this dieases is so that when I am asked, i can explain?
Tue, 18 Mar 2014
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General & Family Physician 's  Response
Hi and welcome to HCM.
Atherosclerosis usually doesn't cause signs and symptoms until it severely narrows or totally blocks an artery. Many people don't know they have the disease until they have a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke.
The coronary arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart. If plaque narrows or blocks these arteries (a disease called coronary heart disease, or CHD), a common symptom is angina. Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood.
Angina may feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest. Patient also may feel it in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina pain may even feel like indigestion. The pain tends to get worse with activity and go away with rest. Emotional stress also can trigger the pain.
Other symptoms of CHD are shortness of breath and arrhythmia

The one test that can directly show blocked arteries is called angiography. Angiography is an "invasive" test.

Now How to lower atherosclerosis risk?

1.Eat a diet low in trans fats and high in fiber-rich fruits and vegetables.
2.Stop smoking.
3.Exercise on most days of the week.
4.Get your cholesterol and blood pressure checked.

Blood pressure should be kept under control and should never miss taking medications. All the best

Dr Santosh
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