What causes someones arteries to harden?

My mother in law is having a triple bypass done today and they found that her arteries have some "calcification". What causes this.
oh and yes she is a very heavy smoker and terrible diet.

6 Responses to “What causes someones arteries to harden?”

  1. txtabicat Says:

    Arteriosclerosis is a disease of the arterial vessels marked by thickening, hardening, and loss of elasticity in the arterial walls. Three forms of arteriosclerosis are generally recognized: atherosclerosis, sclerosis of arterioles, and calcific sclerosis of the medial layer of arteries (Mönckeberg's calcification). Atherosclerosis is the single most important cause of disease and death in Western societies.

    The most common form of arteriosclerosis, marked by cholesterol-lipid-calcium deposits in the walls of arteries. The initial pathological changes, called fatty streaks, are visible on the endothelial surfaces of major blood vessels by the age of 10. These lesions may progress to thickening of the lining of arteries (a process called intimal thickening) if risk factors for atherosclerosis are not addressed. Whether these lesions in turn progress to advanced lesions, called fibrous plaques, depends on hemodynamic forces (such as hypertension) and abnormal plasma levels of lipoproteins (e.g, high levels of total and LDL cholesterol; low levels of HDL cholesterol). Ultimately, arteries affected by the disease may become nearly completely blocked, a condition that causes insufficient blood flow (ischemia). If a plaque within a blood vessel suddenly ruptures, the blood vessel can close and organs or tissues may infarct.

    Risk factors for atherosclerosis include tobacco abuse, diabetes mellitus, abnormal blood lipid concentrations, hypertension, family history, male gender, increased age, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. The role of vascular inflammation due to chronic infections (e.g, with chlamydia or cytomegalovirus) and the part played by elevated homocysteine levels are topics of active research.

  2. janedoe3074 Says:

    fatty build up….cholesterol from greasy and fried foods

  3. mammamiya Says:

    high cholesterol and a high fat diet…also smoking if she is or was a smoker…

    no.. not milk products with calcium

  4. vieja Says:

    choleserol,and sometime blood clots form and block the arteries. i hope your mominlaw is ok.

  5. pachitoss Says:

    hardening of the arteries is known as arteriolsclerosis, the causes are build up of plaque from well known friends called cigarrette, drugs, poor diet high fat and high cholesterol. other predisposing factors which we cannot control are family history and race.

  6. Jezebel Says:

    Arteriosclerosis, a hardening of the artery walls, is caused by years of fatty plaque build up.

    The reason a lot of fat ends up near your heart is because that's where the lymphatic system naturally dumps it after it's absorbed in the small intestine.