Risk Factors and Associated Conditions
It’s not just age that affects the arteries. Lifestyle also plays a role: obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, and consumption of foods high in dangerous trans fats exert an influence on the condition of the vessels. Added to this is family history and, thus, genetic factors. As a result, some people experience chest pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath in the later stages of atherosclerosis. Some, however, do not notice any symptoms.
All the more important is to assess the likelihood of developing the accompanying symptoms of aged arteries, Sorrentino says. Various factors play a role in risk assessment. For example, cholesterol levels and other specific markers in the blood count are included in the evaluation, as is weight and, of course, the entire medical and family history. The linchpin of an individual risk profile, however, is to determine the hemodynamic properties of the arteries. Central and peripheral blood pressure measurements based on Model-based Pulse Wave Analysis (mbPWA) identify the likelihood of an emergency, such as a heart attack or stroke, in the next few years. It also unequivocally determines the likelihood of peripheral vascular occlusion (arms or legs) at a very early (often still asymptomatic) stage.