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.
Drugs to Treat Atherosclerosis
Common drugs, such as statins and aspirin, may slow the effects of atherosclerosis. Find out more, including information about medications to fight high blood pressure and prevent blood clots.
Atherosclerosis and High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure is a major cause of atherosclerosis, the artery-clogging process that leads to heart attacks and strokes. Find out more.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease
WebMD explains the risk factors for heart disease, the leading cause of death in the U.S.
Atherosclerosis and Erectile Dysfunction
The link between atherosclerosis -- the hardening of the body's arteries -- and erectile dysfunction is well known to doctors. If you have ED, understanding the connection might save your life.
Hardened Arteries: It's About More Than Heart Disease
Hardened arteries aren't just a heart problem.
How Much Do You Know About Atherosclerosis?
Take WebMD's five-minute quiz to see just how much you understand about atherosclerosis and heart disease.
Your Arterial Lifeline
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.
Atherosclerosis: Prevention Through the Ages
In most of us, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries is already under way. But regardless of your age, there are specific steps you can take to slow down atherosclerosis.
Slideshows & Images
Types of atherectomy for a coronary artery
A directional atherectomy device cuts away plaque, which is then collected in the tip of the device. A rotational extraction device spins at a high speed and pulverizes plaque, which is then safely washed away in your bloodstream.A transluminal extraction device cuts away plaque using tiny rotating blades. The plaque is sucked into a tube through a vacuum. ...
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. ...