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The term arteriosclerosis is used to describe several cardiovascular diseases, including those involving the blood vessels. In this instance, the arteries become hardened and blood vessels lose their "elastic" effect. Arteriosclerosis can begin in early childhood.
The primary risk factors for arteriosclerosis include hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes mellitus, smoking, and obesity. All of these risk factors are preventable by exercising regularly, smoking cessation, eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and through proper stress management.
Two types of arteriosclerosis include Monckeberg's arteriosclerosis, which usually involves restricted movement of the lower extremities, and arteriolar sclerosis, which can lead to decreased vision and peripheral vascular disease. Signs and symptoms of arteriosclerosis include high blood pressure, multiple kidney infections, and poor circulation in the toes and fingers.
Teresa A. Lyles
Insel, P. M., and Roth, W. T. (2003). "Cardiovascular Disease and Cancer." In Core Concepts in Health, brief 9th edition. New York: McGraw-Hill
Well-Net/Health Education Associates. "Arteriosclerosis." Available from <http://www.well-net.com/cardiov>
Health with Nutrition. "Arteriosclerosis/Atherosclerosis." Available from <http://www.healingwithnutrition.com>