Targets of arteriosclerosis

Arteriosclerosis develops without any distinct signs. It usually only makes itself felt at an advanced stage, for example, with these diseases and symptoms: 

  • Angina pectoris
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Circulatory problems in legs (peripheral artery occlusive disease)

Angina pectoris

It is triggered by insufficient blood flow to the heart due to vascular constriction caused by arteriosclerosis.


The blood supply is interrupted by a blocked artery in the brain, which leads to ischaemia and loss of function in the cerebral grey matter behind.

Circulatory problems in the legs

Circulatory problems occur if there is narrowing of the blood vessels (arteries) in the legs due to arteriosclerosis, which may lead to peripheral artery occlusive disease (PAVK) and hence to interruption of the blood supply.

Heart attack

In addition, if a coronary artery is completely blocked – usually as a consequence of a blood clot forming on an arteriosclerotic plaque – the affected section of the heart muscle is no longer supplied with oxygen and is destroyed.