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    Atherosclerosis

    Atherosclerosis

    Normal artery and blood flow and an 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 may narrow the artery and limit 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
    E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
    Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
    Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology
    Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

    Current as ofOctober 1, 2015

    Current as of: October 1, 2015

    Author: Healthwise Staff

    Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine

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