Atherosclerosis can be considered as a chronic inflammatory disease, which slowly progresses over a period of decades before clinical symptoms become manifest. The atherogenic process comprises interactions between multiple cell types, which initiate a cascade of events involving alterations in vascular production of autocoids, cytokines, and growth factors. The endothelium, because of its location between blood and the vascular wall, has been implicated in the atherogenic process from the initial stages.
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