How does this dangerous narrowing of the blood vessels occur? "Vasoconstriction is caused by an increased concentration of plaque over decades in the vessel walls – blood fats, blood clots, connective tissue and calcium. Risk factors include smoking, lipid metabolic disorders with elevated LDL cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes mellitus. Lack of exercise over many years also plays a significant role. At an advanced stage, arteriosclerosis cannot be cured; however, it can be treated," says PD Dr. Hans Krankenberg, principal consultant for angiology at the Asklepios Clinic in Harburg, Germany. The internal medicine, angiology and cardiology specialist has been dealing with the secondary diseases of arteriosclerosis, such as peripheral arterial occlusive disease, for many years. He has found that conservative treatments have a limited effect: “A healthy lifestyle, nicotine withdrawal, weight reduction, anticoagulant drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) and frequent walking can help but are not routinely put into practice by patients,” says Hans Krankenberg talking from experience.