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Cardiovascular Diseases Essay

954 words - 4 pages

Atherosclerosis and its effects on the structure and function of blood vessels

Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) is a condition commonly linked with poor diet. Atherosclerosis takes effect when fatty deposits and cholesterol begin to build up in the arterial walls and as a result begin to narrow the passage of blood flow through the artery. When plaque begins to build up in substantial amounts it can result in the complete blockage of the artery/arteries which can be detrimental to health and will be shown by symptoms throughout the body.

Atherosclerosis is characterized by the deposition of athermanous plaques which damage, calcify and harden the walls of large to medium ...view middle of the document...

An example would be an effected cerebral vessel would cause a stroke whereas a coronary block would cause Angina. Many factors can contribute towards Atherosclerosis, such as age, male gender, raised plasma, cholesterol concentration, high blood pressure, smoking, a family history of Atherosclerosis, diabetes and obesity.

Exercise and a healthy diet can play a key part in Atherosclerosis prevention, due to the nature of the lipoproteins released during exercise. HDL's (High Density Lipoproteins) are released during aerobic exercise. HDL's play a key role in protecting against heart disease via their role in reverse cholesterol transport, or the transport of excess cholesterol out of the body. HDL’s are also part of the innate immune system due to their ability to bind a number of toxic substances in the blood. By actively engaging in aerobic exercise HDL levels increase, allowing for the fatty plague build up in arterial walls to be broken down thus increasing the effectiveness of blood flow around the body.

Contraindications in exercise whilst under Atherosclerosis symptoms such as hypertension may result in severe implications such as a heart attack, if training is not tailored to meet the needs of the individuals level of hypertension, excessive pressure placed on the arterial walls due to the nature of the training may damage the arteries resulting in narrowing of the arterial walls which over time will reduce their effectiveness to deliver oxygen to the body. An example of contraindicated exercise would be preforming an overhead chest press as raising both arms above the head would require the heart to work harder to ensure adequate blood flow circulates around the body. When the blood cells passing through the narrowed gap of the arterial wall (caused by plaque) begin to pass through at a higher rate the platelets cells found in blood will begin to pile up causing internal clotting of the artery resulting in...

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