Vessels in our body — around the clock courier service delivering required amounts of oxygen and nutrients to body organs. With advancing age, some “couriers” tend to operate irregularly, losing essential luggage on their way or completely failing to the delivery. Aging of vessels and progression of atherosclerosis in various body systems can be easily recognized.
About blood vessels
YOU ARE AT RISK IF:
The risk of myocardial infarction has been shown to increase in persons with a family history of myocardial infarction. However, the effect of genetic factor reduces to a minimum with a healthy lifestyle.
Atherosclerotic vascular disease can develop not only due to excessive intake of fat with food but also as a result of impaired lipid metabolism in the body. This leads to accumulation of “bad” lipids and their depositing in the blood vessel walls.
The force acting on the vascular walls during blood flow is called pressure. The higher the pressure, the greater is stress experienced by blood vessels. In order to preserve its integrity, the vascular wall undergoes reflex spasm, becomes thicker and loses its elasticity. At the same time, the inner vascular walls gradually damage at the sites of the greatest pressure on blood vessels. This leads to accumulation of cholesterol and formation of atherosclerosis plaques at the sites of blood vessel damage.
The incidence of cardiovascular diseases is 5-fold higher in diabetic patients compared to persons of the same age with normal blood sugar levels. Why? Because the excess concentration of sugar leads to internal “erosion” of vascular walls. This results in very rapid cholesterol accumulation at the damaged site and formation of atherosclerosis plaques.
The occurrence of atherosclerosis in the women under 50 is significantly lower than in the men of the same age.
Why? Healthy blood vessels should be credited to female sex hormones, which “protect” the vascular walls from atherosclerosis, regulating the content of cholesterol and blood pressure. With lowered levels of hormones, the risk of atherosclerosis increases in postmenopausal women.
With smoking and alcohol intake the blood levels of hormones (adrenaline, noradrenaline) raise causing spasms of vessels, increase in blood pressure and heart rate. The risk of early wear-out of cardiovascular system increases when this occurs too often.
With the absence of dosed physical activity, the intensity of metabolism dramatically reduces as the muscles uptake of glucose and fatty acids ceases and their excessive amounts start to deposit in vascular walls.
Repeated stress is associated with the rises in blood pressure that are detrimental to blood vessels and lead to their early wearing-out.