Cardiovascular disease is usually associated with restricted blood flow to and from the heart, which causes problems such as death of tissues leading to heart failure and angina.
CVD occurs when fatty deposits from saturated fat build up within the artery, blood pressure increases as the size of the lumen decreases, this therefore means that the same volume of blood is flowing through a smaller space, meaning higher blood pressure. This high blood pressure results in the increased risk to damage to the endothelium. When the endothelium is damaged there is an accumulation of fats, calcium and cholesterol within the breakage. Chemical reactions then occur which allow the cholesterol to oxidised, initiating an inflammatory response, releasing chemicals that are identified within the blood. Monocytes then travel to the damage site, which then, via the stimulation from oxidised cholesterol convert into macrophages. The macrophages then digest the cholesterol molecules, which form foam cells, which in turn accumulate to a plaque. The artery then continues to produce smooth muscle cells which also deposit at the damaged site, firming the plaque resulting in a fibrous plaque. If this occurs within a vessel in the heart, it could cause the death of a specific area in the heart, as the atheroma means that blood cannot reach the area, thus oxygen cannot be delivered to the respiring cells. This also occurs within blood vessels in the brain, causing thrombosis whereby the blood supply to the organs is completely cut off, thus causing the brain to be starved of oxygen, hence temporary paralysis if not treated in time.
Some of the other symptoms include, weakness, difficulty breathing, and facial numbness due to areas of the brain not being able to function properly as of the lack of oxygen, thus the cells cannot respire completely.
(National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Diseases and Conditions Index)