Atherosclerosis, sometimes called "hardening of the arteries," occurs when fat (cholesterol) and calcium build up in the inner lining of the arteries, forming a substance called plaque. Over time, the fat and calcium buildup narrows the artery and blocks blood flow through it.
A major part of treating atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease involves lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking) and medicines to help reduce high cholesterol, control high blood pressure, and manage other things that increase a person's risk of heart attack, stroke, and other complications.
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