The causes of aortic atherosclerotic disease include high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol contents in the aorta and inflammation diseases such as lupus and arthritis. All these causes damage the thin layer of cells in the artery, leading to the formation of plaques, according to Mayo Clinic.
The aorta is the main artery in the body and carries oxygenated blood from the heart to branch arteries, which then supply the blood to different parts of the body. It is lined by a thin layer of cells called endothelium, whose function is to keep it smooth and allow a steady blood flow. Once smoking, high blood pressure and other atherosclerosis causes damage this layer, cholesterol and blood cells enter the arterial walls. These substances build up with time, which eventually result in hardening and narrowing of the artery. This leads to an insufficient supply of oxygenated blood to various body parts, reports Mayo Clinic.
Aortic atherosclerotic disease may remain symptomless until a person is older. In severe stages of this condition, the plaques may rupture, leading to blood clotting inside the artery. This further prevents blood from reaching vital organs and tissues in the body. The result is weakening of the heart muscles, leading to heart attack. It may also cause transient ischemic attacks, stroke and permanent brain damage, notes WebMD.