- By Dana Sparks
Plaque Buildup in Your Arteries (Animation)
It's Heart Disease Awareness Month and we're all being encouraged to “know your numbers.” By keeping track of our cholesterol counts and blood pressure levels we can more easily control them and keep our arteries healthier. Here's an animation from Mayo Clinic illustrating what can happen if we don’t control those numbers ... a condition called atherosclerosis. [animation TRT :39]
The voiceover script and animation are available in the downloads above
Broadcast cg: Courtesy Mayo Clinic
Here’s how atherosclerosis usually develops. The normally smooth inner lining of healthy arteries can become damaged by a number of conditions, for example by high blood pressure. The resulting surface is rougher, allowing fatty components in the blood to stick to it. This buildup is called plaque. Over time the buildup becomes thicker and less flexible and is sometimes referred to as hardening of the arteries. The channel through which blood flows becomes narrower. Plaque is fragile and often rough on the surface making it more likely for blood clots to form. It’s possible for large clots to block the flow of blood entirely. In the brain this can cause a stroke; in a coronary artery, a heart attack.