Why does an increase in cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerosis and stroke?

An increase in cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerosis and stroke:

Arteriosclerosis, also known as atherosclerosis, is a well-known medical term and a significant factor in various diseases such as stroke, coronary artery disease, and myocardial infarction. The exact causes of arteriosclerosis are not fully understood. Modern medical analysis and research suggest that it is primarily caused by dysregulation of lipid metabolism and the disruption of normal vascular wall function and structure.

Why does an increase in cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerosis and stroke?
Why does an increase in cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerosis and stroke?

Scientific studies have shown that patients often have systemic dyslipidemia before the formation of arteriosclerosis, with excessive lipid storage in the body leading to elevated lipid levels in the plasma, commonly known as hyperlipidemia. The infiltration of excessive lipids from the plasma into the arterial intima can cause the formation of atherosclerosis plaques. Dissection of hardened large arteries has revealed that the lipid composition within the intima and atherosclerotic plaques is similar to the classification of plasma lipids, confirming that lipid infiltration into arterial walls is one of the causes of arteriosclerosis.

It is normal for human serum to contain a certain proportion of cholesterol. There is also a component called phospholipids in the serum, which helps maintain cholesterol in a dissolved state. When cholesterol increases and phospholipids decrease, cholesterol can precipitate and adhere to the inner walls of arteries, leading to thickening and increased fragility of the arterial wall, resulting in arteriosclerosis. When blood pressure suddenly rises, these hardened arteries are more prone to rupture and bleeding. Conversely, low blood pressure and slow blood flow can lead to the formation of blood clots, which can also cause stroke. Therefore, actively preventing and treating hypercholesterolemia is an important aspect of stroke prevention.

The human body is constantly undergoing metabolic processes, and the arteries are no exception. Under normal circumstances, the metabolism of arterial walls relies on the plasma components flowing within the blood vessels. These components permeate through the vessel walls and flow towards the lymphatic vessels outside the blood vessels. In this process, the arterial walls receive nutrients and oxygen supply and remove metabolized waste products.

If there is an excessive amount of lipids in the bloodstream, the lipids (mainly lipoproteins) that enter the vessel walls can become trapped and deposited, leading to the disruption of the normal function and structure of the arterial wall. This situation often forms a vicious cycle, where the damaged arterial wall further allows lipids in the blood to infiltrate and deposit within the arterial wall, which cannot be cleared, ultimately developing into atherosclerotic plaques.

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