Arteriosclerosis vs Atherosclerosis
Though, Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis are medical terms used mainly by medical fraternity, it helps to be able to differentiate between these two ailments that are different from one another. Some people wrongly club these two together because of their similarities, which is incorrect. To better appreciate differences between Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis, we need to understand the working of arteries.
Blood vessels that are used to carry oxygen and other nutrients from the heart to the rest of the body are known as arteries. In a healthy person, these arteries are not only elastic and flexible, they are also strong. With passage of time and our lifestyles that includes poor intake of food items as well as lack of exercises leads to a situation where these arteries become thick and stiff causing a restriction to the easy flow of materials. When passage of blood to your organs gets restricted, the medical condition is termed as arteriosclerosis, or in simple language, hardening of arteries.
Atherosclerosis is another ailment involving arteries that has similar symptoms that make easy passage of blood flow difficult inside arteries. In this sense, it is a special type of arteriosclerosis but here, it is deposition of fat that become a culprit. When there is a buildup of fat in and around the walls of arteries, blood flow is restricted. When the blockage is sufficient, these plaques can sometimes burst resulting in blood clots. Though atherosclerosis leads to heart problems when it occurs in coronary vessels, it can take place in any body part where arteries may become clogged because of fat deposition. This is a medical condition that can be prevented and is also treatable.
It is clear then that a patient of arteriosclerosis may not suffer from atherosclerosis, but a patient of atherosclerosis always suffers from arteriosclerosis. This is because hardening of artery walls may take place without any fat deposition. When both medical conditions are present, it poses a problem for the doctors as blood flow is decreased to the heart.
Atherosclerosis is caused by high intake of fatty foods, high cholesterol, high BP, and smoking. Making suitable dietary changes on the advice of your health care provider and quitting smoking lead to clearing up of arteries and cure of atherosclerosis. However, in severe conditions, coronary artery bypass surgery remains the only option for the doctors to treat such patients.
Thus, while restriction of arteries making it hard for the blood to flow from the heart to other organs of the body is termed as arteriosclerosis, atherosclerosis refers to a particular type of a arteriosclerosis where plaque is formed inside artery walls because of fat deposition. This fat makes passage of blood difficult causing severe heart problems in the end. The most serious instances of atherosclerosis are when arteries leading up to heart or brain are clogged by fat deposition. In such cases a person may suffer from a heart attack or a stroke, which is life threatening.
Difference Between Arteriosclerosis and Atherosclerosis
• In normal conditions, arteries that are vessels carrying blood and other nutrients from heart to other body organs are elastic and flexible. However, with passage of time, these arteries become hard restricting easy passage of blood from the heart to other body organs. Thickening and hardening of arteries is known as arteriosclerosis.
• Atherosclerosis is a special type of arteriosclerosis where plaque is formed inside artery walls. This plaque is made up of fat and it slowly builds up restricting blood flow from the heart. When this blood flow is restricted completely, arteries may become clogged and later rupture, resulting in heart attack.
• Atherosclerosis is preventable as its causes include high intake of fat, high cholesterol, high BP etc. Change in dietary intake coupled with exercises can lead to cure of atherosclerosis.