Atherosclerosis and Related Nutritional Issues in Miniature Swine

Introduction

Atherosclerotic heart disease or cardiovascular disease, also known as artery disease, is the 20th century epidemic. It accounts for almost 500,000 deaths every year in the United States alone and is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. Cardiovascular disease is predicted to become the predominant global disease by 2020. The basic cause of coronary artery disease is a buildup of abnormal lipid and fibrous plaques (atheromas) that narrow the coronary arteries and deprive the heart of the blood and the oxygen it needs. Carotid artery stenosis (stroke) and aortic disease (aneurysm) are also associated syndromes of atherosclerosis. Humans, pigs and some primates develop spontaneous atherosclerosis whereas rodents and rabbits do not.

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