ARTERIES, DISEASES OF.—A number of types of disease are found in the arteries. The most important are : Arteriosclerosis, due to old age ; Arteritis, due to infections by micro-organisms, notably syphilis and tuber culosis ; and .-Ineurism, (Inc to dilatation caused by mechanical defects which may depend upon the two former factors.
Arteriosclerosis is a change in the character of the arteries, and con sists in a gradual thickening of their walls, with or without a deposit of lime. This disease usually accompanies old age, although occasionally found in the young. It interferes with the normal elasticity of the vessels ; the arteries, especially those of the wrist and temple, present a hard and wiry feel to the touch, and their course becomes more or less tortuous, while their pulsations may be visible to the eve. The thickening or calcification may develop early in life by severe bodily labour, by the excessive use of alcohol or tobacco, by a luxurious life without sufficient exercise, by syphilis, gout, and obesity, and by a number of other causes. As a result of this con dition there often results enlargement of the heart, congestion, and impaired circulation of blood in the abdominal vessels, and with this, indigestion, constipation, and the formation of haemorrhoids, the last-named often appear ing as forerunners of the trouble in the vessels. If, as the consequence of such calcification, the circulation in the coronary arteries is interfered with, there follows a disturbance of the heart-action, palpitation, vertigo, fainting, bronchitis, and, under certain circumstances, marked evidences of cardiac weakness. Cerebral hemorrhage may also take place.
Many of these consequences may be avoided or postponed by timely medical treatment. Persons who lead a luxurious life and are inclined to obesity, should be advised to take proper and sufficient bodily exercise, and to eat and drink in moderation, taking little meat, but plenty of milk, vege tables, and starchy foods. Spices, coffee, tea, alcohol, and tobacco should
he avoided as much as possible, or, better still, entirely prohibited. More over, severe bodily and mental exertion and sexual indulgences arc also harmful to these patients. Cold sponging and rubbing of the upper part of the body are to be recommended, but a warning should be given against the extremes of heat or cold in bathing. Daily evacuations may be aided by taking fresh or dried fruit, enemas, and mild cathartics when necessary. For climatic and other cures, see HEART, DISEASES OF.
Arteritis is an acute affection of the blood-vessels of the body, due to infection by micro-organisms. It is an affection seen most commonly in the acute articular rheumatic infections, and in typhoid fever.
Aneurism.—See special article on this disease.
ARTHRITIS.—An acute or chronic inflammatory reaction in a joint, due chiefly to bacterial infection, to altered trophic conditions, or to dis turbances in the chemisni of the structures of the joint. The arthritides due to the bacteria are, principally, acute articular rheumatism (see RHEU MATISM) ; gonorrheal arthritis (see GONORRIREA) ; typhoid arthritis, and tuberculous arthritis. The arthritis of locomotor ataxia (Charcot joint) is thought to be due to trophic disturbances dependent on degeneration of the peripheral sensory neurones ; while the arthritis of (which see) is thought to be related in some manner with altered chemism of the body or joint-structures. Consult ARTHRITIS DEFORMANS ; JOINTS, DISEASES OF ; NEURITIS ; RHEUMATISM.