Submitted by Thiruvelan on Thu, 06/24/2010

Atherosclerosis is a disease caused by the buildup of fatty deposits on the inner side of arteries called as plaque. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients rich blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.

Atherosclerosis by Plaque

Fat, cholesterol, calcium, and some other substances available in the blood make the plaque. Over time plaque, buildup causes narrowing of arteries and reduces oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to brain, heart, and other part of the body. In addition, plaques harden causing hardening of arteries. This develops to a serious condition, including heart attack, stroke, or may even end up with death.

Atherosclerosis otherwise called as:

  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Hardening of the arteries

Atherosclerosis Causes

Atherosclerosis may start when there is damage in the inner layers of the arteries. This damage may cause by:

  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol or hyperlipidemia
  • High blood pressure or hypertension
  • High blood glucose or diabetes

Over time, this plaque can become to harden and may even crack. Platelet a blood cell’s join-together causes blood clots over the cracked plaque. This further narrows the arteries and worsens chest pain called angina or even causes a heart attack.