Atherosclerosis starts early and progresses throughout life. You can't see or feel it, but in most of us the process is already under way.
The plaques of atherosclerosis can grow to become blood vessel blockages. If a plaque ruptures, the sudden blood clot causes a heart attack or stroke.
Atherosclerosis is common, unpredictable, and potentially deadly. Is there any good news? Because atherosclerosis takes decades to progress, the process can be slowed down at any point, reducing the risk.