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Narrowing of the Arteries (Artherosclerosis)

Artherosclerosis is the medical name given to the build up of fatty deposits called plaque on the inside walls of arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen and blood to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. As plaque builds up in an artery, the artery gradually narrows and can become clogged. As an artery becomes more and more narrowed, less blood can flow through. The artery may also become less elastic - often called "hardening of the arteries". Atherosclerosis is the main cause of a group of diseases called cardiovascular diseases - diseases of the heart (cardio) and blood vessels (vascular).

Artherosclerosis can lead to clogged arteries in any part of the body.

  • When the arteries of the heart are affected it can lead to angina or a heart attack
  • When the arteries of the brain are affected it can cause a stroke.
  • When the arteries of the legs are affected it can lead to leg pain (peripheral vascular disease)