Carotid artery disease is a disease in which a fatty and waxy substance called plaque builds up inside the carotid arteries. You have two common carotid arteries, one on each side of your neck. They each divide into internal and external carotid arteries.
Hence the condition in which plaque accumulates in the arteries that carry blood to the brain, is called carotid artery disease, which increases your risk for stroke.
Carotid artery disease is the most common cause of stroke for both men and women. But many women at risk don’t realize this and thus are not evaluated. Risk factors carotid artery disease include:
Women at risk should talk to their cardiac surgeon about the screenings. You may be asked to undergo non-invasive tests such as:
Taking action to control your risk factors can help prevent or delay carotid artery disease and stroke. Your risk for carotid artery disease increases with the number of risk factors you have.
Mild and moderate carotid artery disease can be managed and treated with lifestyle. If lifestyle changes aren’t enough, your doctor may prescribe medicines to control your carotid artery disease risk factors. Take all of your medicines as your doctor advises.
The signs and symptoms of stroke may include:
Carotid artery disease is often detected later in life in women, which makes it more difficult to treat. Early screening is highly important to decrease the chances of having a stroke.