ESC Congress 2003
Aortic stenosis (AS) is the narrowing or obstruction of the heart´s aortic valve, which prevents it from opening properly and blocks the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta. AS is common in the ageing population and has become the most frequent native valve disease in Europe. AS when severe, may cause left heart failure, fainting or angina, but the natural progression of less severe degrees is highly variable.
The risk factors for the development of AS are the same as that of atherosclerosis (male sex, smoking, hypertension, age, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes), and some of these seem to have an effect on AS progression as well. Numerous studies have identified inflammation as a major component of atherosclerosis complications and have shown that blood levels of C-reactive protein are elevated many years before a first heart attack or stroke occurs. C-reactive protein is a protein in the body whose level increases when blood vessels become inflamed, so measuring cardiovascular risk is thought to be possible by assessing C-reactive protein levels.
Camilla Dormer | alfa
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