Atherosclerosis : Exercise essential in combating arterial disease
To keep your arteries healthy, a regular exercise program is essential, reports the June issue of the Harvard Men's Health Watch.
Arterial diseases are responsible for heart attacks and strokes, the first and third leading causes of death in American men. The culprit is atherosclerosis, in which cholesterol-laden plaques build up in the arteries. As the plaques enlarge, the arteries narrow, impairing blood flow. If a plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms that can block the artery completely, killing the cells that depend on that artery's blood supply. If this happens in an artery leading to the heart or brain, the result is a heart attack or stroke.