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.
Primary Medical Reviewer
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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