Public Release: 6-Jul-2015
Fundamental beliefs about atherosclerosis overturned
Complications of artery-hardening condition are No. 1 killer worldwide
University of Virginia Health System
Doctors’ efforts to battle the dangerous atherosclerotic plaques that build up in our arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes are built on several false beliefs about the fundamental composition and formation of the plaques, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine shows. These new discoveries will force researchers to reassess their approaches to developing treatments and discard some of their basic assumptions about atherosclerosis, commonly known as hardening of the arteries.
“The leading cause of death worldwide is complications of atherosclerosis, and the most common end-stage disease is when an atherosclerotic plaque ruptures. If this occurs in one of your large coronary arteries, it’s a catastrophic event,” said Gary K. Owens, PhD, of UVA’s Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center. “Once a plaque ruptures…
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