High Blood Pressure

Lipid Hypothesis Of The Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is the formation of plaques in the arterial wall causing impairment in the blood flow through the arteries. It has been a major concern for the Americans as it strikes almost 1.38 million American citizens, annually. The decipherment of lipid as a major risk factor for atherosclerosis has established significant pathological relation between atherosclerosis, cardiovascular diseases and lipids. Since then, a number of researches have been done to get more conclusive results about lipid hypothesis of atherosclerosis.

The first theory regarding the genesis of atherosclerosis came in 1952, which opined that formation of plaques occurs in intima of the arteries due to the deposition of thrombus or clotted blood particles and secondarily due to lipid deposition.

It was followed by some a new concept known as inflammation theory which proposed that hardening and thickening of arteries begins with lipid deposition into the arteries and the interaction of lipids with the extra-cellular particles leads to intimal proliferation. Later came some other postulates which concentrated on the fact that endothelium or the inner lining of the wall of arteries if injured, become more prone to lipid accumulation and blood clotting in the arteries. Further advancement regarding this theory came after a research done by seven countries which came to the conclusion that coronary heart disease is intimately connected to the cholesterol. CHD probability increases with the increase in the cholesterol level. Moreover, it was also concluded that not only low-density lipoprotein but also the HDL, high-density lipoprotein comprises the major risk factor for atherosclerosis.

To substantiate this proposition a clinical trial was done to establish that there is less cardiovascular morbidity with the decreased level of LDL. Moreover, the studies and researches have also emphasized the role of other lipid fractions in atherosclerosis such as triglycerides which should be taken care of in therapy for atherosclerosis. The lipid hypothesis of atherosclerosis is a matter of ongoing research and forms the basis of any intricate diagnosis of diseases like CHD, heart attack and even raised blood pressure.