Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, occurs when deposits of fatty substances, cholesterol and calcium build up in the lining of an artery. This build-up hardens and is called plaque and can restrict the flow of blood through the artery.
Plaque becomes dangerous when it ruptures, forming clots that can block or stop the flow of blood to body parts. If it blocks the artery to the heart, it is called a heart attack. If it blocks the artery to the brain, it is called a stroke.
Diagnostic steps include:
Treatment options may include:
Medication to lower lipids and keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control