Does cardiovascular damage repair itself

I don’t know the medicine or biology of it, however my understanding is that if there is a stroke the human brain tends to repair itself over time and repair the damage, and the concept that the brain is plastic and repairing itself through life is fairly new. With most other injures the body tends to repair itself fairly well (muscle injuries, skin injuries, bone, etc).

However I am under the impression that damage to the cardiovascular system from hypertension, cholesterol, homocysteine, inflammation, etc just slowly compounds rather than be a constant give and take of damage and repair.

Is there a constant give and take between damage done to the cardiovascular system and self repair, or is meaningful self repair (removing fatty deposits from arteries, opening blockages, strengthening arteries, etc) nonexistant in nature?

If there is constant self repair then how important is that to maintaining cardio health? ie, when someone has ‘bad genetics’ does that mean they have more assaults on their cardio system (hypertension, cholesterol, etc) or that their body doesn’t repair itself as well?

If anything, there’s more self-repair in the cardiovascular system. Brain recovery after stroke is mostly due to undamaged parts of the brain “rewiring” themselves, but the dead part of the brain stays dead. OTOH, plaque deposits in your arteries can recede with lifestyle changes and medication. Some cardiovascular damage is permanent, for example heart muscle which dies during a heart attack is replaced by fibrous tissue, not new muscle, so the heart is permanently weakened.

Studies using statin medicines have shown that atherosclerotic narrowings can be re-opened to some extent. It is a very slow process, however. Similar improvements were also noted even without using medication in adherents to the Ornish diet and lifestyle interventions (meditation, exercise, …).

Another example of reversibility of cardiovascular injury is seen in people who quit smoking. Despite years of smoking-induced blood vessel damage, a person’s risk of heart attack rather rapidly (within 3 to 5 years) goes back towards that of a never-smoker.