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Do you know what atherosclerotic vascular disease is?

More than 80% of Spaniards admit not knowing what atherosclerotic vascular disease is, caused mainly by bad cholesterol. In the framework of the European Day for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Risk, on March 14, we address what this pathology consists of and how to avoid it.

Cardiovascular diseases are the first cause of death and disability from middle age in developed countries, both in men and women; and represent the 26.4% of the total number of deaths in Spain. Among them, the atherosclerotic vascular disease (AVD)unknown to most Spaniards.

And it is that, the 81.5% of Spaniards do not know what this disease consists of and more than 50% I wouldn’t be able to identify the symptoms.

Data that emerge from the survey carried out by the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC)the Spanish Heart Foundation (FEC)the Spanish Society of Arteriosclerosis (SEA) and the Association Cardioaliançaone of the actions they have carried out as part of the launch of the campaign ‘We make way for EVA’which also has the collaboration of the pharmaceutical company Daiichi-Sankyo.

The aim of this initiative is to make the population aware of the seriousness and impact of these pathologies, informing them about the importance of prevention and early diagnosis.

What is atherosclerotic vascular disease (AVD)?

It is a chronic, widespread and progressive pathology that affects the arteries by thickening and hardening the inner walls until causing a cardiovascular event, such as a heart attack, angina pectoris, stroke, among others, as pointed out by the SEC.

Why does it appear?

Although smoking, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle are key factors in the development of cardiovascular events, the main cause of EVA is the presence of high “bad” cholesterol (LDL).consequence of an unhealthy diet and a sedentary life, although it can also be linked to a genetic origin.

And although the 98% of respondents believe that cholesterol affects their cardiovascular health and the 42% considers that supposes the main factor responsible for causing a cardiovascular event, only in 11.6% it worries him more than other conditions.

Specifically, just over half (54.2%) admit to going once a year for a consultation to have analyzes and checks.


From the SEC point out some of the possible symptoms associated with EVA:

  • Difficulty breathing.
  • Appearance of neurological deficits.
  • Difficulty walking.

“It is essential that the population is informed about the causes that aggravate them, especially in patients who have already been diagnosed with them. We must not forget that the impact of adequate prevention at a personal and social level is enormous”, he points out elected president of the SEC, Dr. Luis Rodríguez Padial.

Atherosclerotic vascular disease campaign
The ‘Obrim pas a EVA’ campaign fills the streets of Madrid. Photo provided

How can we prevent it?

For his part, the doctor José María Mostaza Prieto, president of the SEA, points out that “if a patient has atherosclerotic vascular disease, he may or may not have already had a vascular complication. The challenge is to avoid the first vascular complication or, in the case of having suffered one, new complications”.

In this way, it advises:

  • Approach the ideal weight.
  • Consume a Mediterranean-type diet.
  • Do frequent physical exercise.
  • Avoid tobacco consumption.
  • Control cholesterol level.

In this same line, the president of Cardioaliança, Maite San Saturninopoints to the key information about healthy guidelines in the management of these pathologies, since “we must not forget that a well-informed patient is a patient in better health”.

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