Children with progeria usually develop severe hardening of the arteries. This is a condition in which the walls of their arteries — blood vessels that carry nutrients and oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body — stiffen and thicken, often restricting blood flow.
Most children with progeria die of complications related to atherosclerosis, including:
- Problems with the blood vessels that supply the heart (cardiovascular problems), resulting in heart attack and congestive heart failure
- Problems with the blood vessels that supply the brain (cerebrovascular problems), resulting in stroke
Other health problems that are frequently associated with aging — such as far-sightedness and Alzheimer's disease — do not develop as part of the course of progeria.
Apr. 23, 2011
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- Hoecker JL (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 6, 2011.