Atherosclerosis is a condition in which cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances build up in the walls of your arteries. This buildup is called "plaque." Plaque clogs your arteries, causing them to become narrow, which makes it difficult for blood to flow. Atherosclerosis raises your risk of heart attacks and strokes. If the condition involves the arteries in your legs, it is called peripheral artery disease. Follow the links below to find WebMD's comprehensive coverage about how atherosclerosis develops, what it looks like, how to treat it, and much more.
Heart attacks and strokes caused by atherosclerosis are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. But diseases caused by atherosclerosis also lead to chronic pain, kidney failure, blindness, and even impotence.