Cardiovascular Disease, Atherosclerosis Essay

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One source of great mortality and morbidity in Europe and North America is the cardiovascular disease, Atherosclerosis. It is recognized as a chronic inflammatory disease of the intermediate and large arteries characterized by the thickening of the arterial wall and is the primary cause of coronary and cerebrovascular heart disease (Wilson, 2005). It accounts for 4.35 million deaths in Europe and 35% death in the UK each year. Mortality rate are generally higher in men than pre-menopausal woman. Past the menopause, a woman’s risk is similar to a man’s (George and Johnston, 2010). Clinical trials have confirmed that lipid accumulation, endothelial dysfunction, cell proliferation, inflammation matrix alteration and foam cell formation are…show more content…
Macrophage which is now foam-like accumulates on the blood vessel to form visible fatty streak which then undergoes apoptosis. The plaque continues to grow and hardens narrowing the arteries. This ruptures and causes a blood clot which limits the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the body causing a heart attack, stroke or even death. Factors that are known to predispose to atherosclerosis are physical inactivity, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, cigarette smoking and hypertension which increase the chances by two-fold by damaging the vascular endothelium. Experimental studies have just shown that excess blood levels of iron can lead to atherosclerosis (Guyton and Hall, 2011). 2.0 Molecular and Cell-based therapies Presently, the treatment strategies used are risk factor modification, conventional pharmacology and surgical revascularization. These strategies have hitherto not been of enormous solution as the disease progression still result in recurrent symptoms. This has now led to the exploitation of advances in comprehending the vascular biology of atherogenesis to introduce novel cell and molecular-based therapies. The application of immunomodulation, lipid-lowering agents like statins, gene transfer, antisense technology and so on has resulted in new therapeutic strategies to interrupt cell proliferation and disorder of the vessel wall. In this essay, immunomudulation and lipid-lowering agent shall be discussed. 2.1 Immunomodulation
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