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    Atherosclerosis

    Atherosclerosis

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    Picture of normal artery and artery narrowed by atherosclerosis

    Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when cholesterol, calcium, and other substances build up in the inner lining of the arteries, forming a material called plaque. Over time, plaque buildup narrows the artery and blocks blood flow through it.

    Coronary artery disease is atherosclerosis in the heart (coronary) arteries. Peripheral arterial disease of the legs is atherosclerosis in the leg arteries. If atherosclerosis affects the brain arteries (carotid or cerebral arteries), a stroke can occur.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

    Current as ofFebruary 20, 2015

    Current as of: February 20, 2015

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology

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