What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Elena R Ladich, MD; Chief Editor: Allen Patrick Burke, MD  more...
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Factors that affect these processes may inhibit or accelerate atherosclerosis. The most common risk factors are family history, hyperlipidemia, diabetes mellitus, cigarette smoking, hypertension, and dietary deficiencies of antioxidants. [3] Early lesion development is marked by lipid retention with activation of endothelial adhesion molecules. Inflammatory macrophages play a significant role throughout all phases of atherosclerotic progression; hyperlipidemia-induced macrophage infiltration of the arterial intima is one of the earliest pathologic changes.

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