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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes atherosclerosis?

Mr. T., a 45-year-old black male employed as a midlevel corporate manager was seeking a physical examination. He appeared somewhat overweight. He denied taking any medications or smoking, but admitted drinking alcohol. His father and older brother have hypertension, and his paternal grandfather experienced an MI and a CVA at a young age. Mr. T. stated, “A year ago at a health fair, my cholesterol was tested. I was told later by mail that my cholesterol was 250.” What lab tests are indicated? What other questions should be asked of this patient? What are Mr. T’s risk factors for hypertension and coronary artery disease? If Mr. T. showed a high level of intellectual curiosity, and kept asking questions, how would you explain the pathophysiology of hypertension and coronary artery disease to him? How does atherosclerosis develop?
Sat, 24 Aug 2019
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Cardiologist 's  Response

Welcome to Ask a Doctor service!

I understand your concern and would explain that atherosclerosis is a gradual process.

Arterial hypertension and dyslipidemia are independent risk factors for atherosclerosis, which increase its speed of development.

From the other hand, atherosclerosis can lead to gradual blockage or the coronary arteries and brain arteries and increase the risk for coronary artery disease or stroke.

That it why it is necessary to periodically check your blood lipid profile, a resting ECG and Doppler ultrasound of the carotid arteries.

Hope to have been helpful!

Wishing good health,

Dr. Ilir Sharka, Cardiologist
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