What Is Atherosclerosis and What Causes It?

Q:
What is atherosclerosis and what causes it?

A:
Atherosclerosis refers to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries, which silently and slowly blocks arteries, putting blood flow at risk.

Atherosclerosis may start with damage or injury to the inner layer of an artery. The damage may be caused by:

  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • High triglycerides, a type of fat (lipid) in your blood
  • Inflammation from diseases, such as arthritis, lupus or infections, or inflammation of unknown cause
  • Insulin resistance, obesity or diabetes
  • Smoking and other sources of tobacco
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.