What causes renal artery disease?


Renal artery disease occurs when the renal arteries, which are the blood vessels that carry blood to the kidneys, become narrowed or blocked by the build-up of fatty deposits called plaque. When this happens, the kidneys no longer receive the nutrients and oxygen they need to function properly and can fail.

Renal artery disease is similar to heart disease (also called coronary artery disease). Both are the result of atherosclerosis -  when blood vessels become narrowed due to the build-up of cholesterol-rich plaque. As a result, the size of the path through which blood flows becomes narrower and blood flow is restricted.

Age, male gender, a family history of heart disease, smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of physical activity, and obesity, are factors known to increase your risk of developing atherosclerosis throughout the body.