The response to the harm caused by risk factors related to atherosclerosis may consist of clinical-signs of
cardiac and/or blood vessel ischemic pathology sometimes accompanied by arrhythmias and heart failure-, metabolic-
signs of altered oxygen transport and pro-thrombotic changes of coagulation-fibrinolysis cascade-, and sympathetic
features due to nerve stimulation, which cause changes in heart rate and blood pressure. Moreover, some
special categories like women have the responses, which are influenced by their endocrine constellation. There is a
different predisposition towards the markers of atherosclerosis in premenopausal woman, who displays atherogenic
effects, and in women after the menopause who respond similarly to that of men. Finally, oxidative stress, which is
a strong pro-thrombotic factor, increases the development of an atherosclerotic lesion.
From these data, there is no doubt that a large number of factors, primarily smoking and endothelial dysfunction influence
the cardiovascular system causing a major incidence of cardiovascular events. In addition, there would be evidence that some factors
related to atherosclerosis should be considered as an etiologic (causal) factor of cardiovascular alterations because they can lead, in
the long run, to an irreversible damage to the heart and blood vessels.