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Vascular Health: Understanding Your Risk Factors

Vascular disease can strike anyone, but people who smoke, have high cholesterol, high blood pressure or diabetes, or have a family history are often at an increased risk.

You can take control of your vascular health by talking to your primary care provider about your risk factors.

There are three main conditions that impact your vascular health.

Carotid artery disease

Carotid artery disease is a narrowing of the carotid arteries, two of four major vessels that carry blood to the brain. It is relatively common for the senior population. That’s because atherosclerosis causes the build-up over the years of deposits, or plaques, inside the vessel.

Risk factors for atherosclerosis include family history, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and diabetes.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA)

AAA is a widening, stretching or ballooning of the aorta, most commonly from atherosclerotic disease. As the aorta gets progressively larger over time, there is an increased chance of rupture.

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD)

PAD is a condition of the blood vessels that leads to narrowing and hardening of the arteries that supply blood to the legs and feet. This can injure nerves and other tissues.

Wentworth-Douglass Hospital offers comprehensive, state-of-the-art vascular care. Our expert vascular surgery team, including Dr. James Estes, Dr. Stephen Gemmett, and Dr. Ritoban Sen, has extensive experience in diagnosing and providing the leading treatments for stroke prevention, aortic aneurysms, peripheral arterial disease, carotid disease, dialysis, diabetic wounds, and varicose or cosmetic vein disease.

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