Symptoms are caused by events in atherosclerotic plaques, changes in the arterial endothelium that advance with time as a consequence of a chronic inflammation. Plaque rupture leads to thrombus formation, followed by a myocardial infarction if the plaque is located in the coronary arteries, or a stroke if the plaque is located in a carotid artery. The mechanisms leading to plaque rupture are not yet fully elucidated. Many risk factors are well known, but much remains to be explored.
I believe that we can improve cardiovascular prevention, diagnostics and treatment through future developments in cardiovascular research; including imaging, biomarkers and better knowledge on how socioeconomic- and psychosocial factors are associated with symptomatic disease.