How does this dangerous narrowing of the blood vessels develop? "Atherosclerotic vascular disease develops over decades by an increased build-up of plaque in the vessel walls – an accumulation of blood fats, blood clots, connective tissue, and calcium. Risk factors include smoking, lipid metabolism 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 Dr. Hans Krankenberg, assistant professor and principal consultant for angiology at the Asklepios Clinic in Harburg, Germany. The internal medicine, angiology and cardiology specialist has been dealing with arteriosclerotic diseases 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 speaking from experience.