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Atherosclerosis

Making a Diagnosis

There is no single test to diagnose atherosclerosis. Therefore, in order to help make an atherosclerosis diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask a number of questions and perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms of the condition.
 
Your healthcare provider will also recommend certain tests and/or procedures to identify atherosclerosis or its complications. Your doctor uses your physical exam results, your risk factors, family history, and your symptoms to decide which test or tests to order.
 
(Click Atherosclerosis Diagnosis for more information.)
 

Treatment Options

Atherosclerosis treatment will vary for each patient. Everyone diagnosed with atherosclerosis will need to undergo lifestyle changes. Depending on the severity of the condition, these may be the only changes that need to be made. For more serious conditions, treatment for atherosclerosis may include medications or certain procedures.
 
(Click Atherosclerosis Treatment for an in-depth description of how this condition is treated.)
 

Effects of the Disease

Atherosclerosis is a slow, progressive disease that may start in childhood. As mentioned, it can affect the arteries of the brain, heart, kidneys, and the arms and legs. As plaque builds up, it can cause serious diseases and complications. These include:
 
Diseases caused by atherosclerosis are the leading cause of illness and death in the United States.
 
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Atherosclerosis Disease

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