Arteries are internal tubes that transport oxygen-rich blood and nutrients from your heart to the rest of your body. Though they are initially smooth inside, plaque buildup can reduce or halt blood flow. That blockage, called atherosclerosis, can lead to serious health issues, like hypertension, stroke, or heart attack. So, how long can you live with blocked arteries?

Well, there is no set timeframe when it comes to a person’s lifespan when their arteries become clogged. Medical treatments are available after the blockage is discovered to increase blood flow and prevent further complications. Lifestyle changes, such as a healthy diet, exercise, and stress management are also factors. Let’s take a closer look at how atherosclerosis affects life expectancy.

Cardiac rehabilitation may help tremendously. It involves health education, stress managements and emotional support, exercise program and healthy diet.

General lifestyle changes are also factors. Let’s take a closer look at how atherosclerosis affects life expectancy.

Visual representation of cholesterol plaque causing blocked arteries.

How Long Can You Live With Blocked Arteries

Arteries don’t become clogged overnight. It can take decades for the blockage to reach the point where it’s noticed. In fact, many people don’t detect the narrowing of their arteries until it leads to severe complications.

For some individuals, there aren’t even any symptoms until the clog blocks at least 70% of the artery. At this point, they may experience chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, or weakness. There could also be a few other symptoms, depending on the location of the blockage.

For instance, when the arteries carrying blood to the heart become blocked, it leads to coronary artery disease. The most common symptoms of this condition are chest pain or shortness of breath. Unfortunately, for some individuals, there are no noticeable symptoms until a stroke occurs, which could be fatal.

Carotid artery disease is the result of blocked arteries in the sides of the neck. When they become too narrow for blood to flow properly, a stroke is the result. As well as the common symptoms, this type of blockage could also cause a few others. These include weakness, numbness, or inability to move one side of the body, slurring, or partial loss of vision.

Peripheral artery disease is caused by the buildup of plaque in the arteries carrying blood to the legs. The loss of oxygen can cause pain, numbness, infection, reduced healing, coldness, and gangrene in the legs and feet. There could also be no symptoms at all.

Regardless of where the blocked arteries are located, the lifespan of those with the condition can vary. It depends on a few factors, including genetics, lifestyle, diet, stress level, and underlying health conditions. The healthier the individual, the slower arteries will narrow, and the longer their lifespan will be. Others may only have a few years before the clogged artery causes further complications, including death.

Can you help to reverse clogged arteries?

Yes, it is possible to reverse clogged arteries with the correct alterations to an individual’s lifestyle. According to preliminary studies, altering certain risk factors can actually decrease atherosclerosis. The main factors include proper exercise and a cardiac diet that reduces cholesterol levels.

Eliminating other risk factors is also beneficial, including quitting smoking and healthy stress management. Though you likely won’t eliminate plaque deposits, such alterations can increase how long you can live with blocked arteries.

This content comprises informative and educational resources only and can not be considered as a substitute for professional health or medical guidance. Reliance on any information provided in this article is solely at your own risk. If you have any inquiries or apprehensions about your medical condition or health goals, talk with a licensed physician or healthcare provider.