the buildup of fatty deposits called plaque
on the inside walls of arteries. Arteries
are blood vessels that carry oxygen and blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of the
body. As plaque builds up in an artery, the artery gradually narrows and can become
clogged. As an artery becomes more and more narrowed, less blood can flow through. The artery may also
become less elastic (called "hardening of the arteries"). Atherosclerosis is the
main cause of a group of diseases called cardiovascular diseases -
diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
Enlargement Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Atherosclerosis can lead to clogged arteries in any part of the body. When the arteries
to the heart are affected, angina (chest
pain) or a heart attack may result. If arteries in the leg are affected, leg pain may
occur. Atherosclerosis of the arteries to the brain can cause strokes.
Atherosclerosis is common in the United States. It often starts in childhood and the
arteries become narrowed or clogged over many years.
Causes of Atherosclerosis
Symptoms of Atherosclerosis
Risk Factors for Atherosclerosis
Diagnosis of Atherosclerosis
Treatments for Atherosclerosis
Prevention of Atherosclerosis