Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is the buildup of plaque in the arteries, which carry oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. Plaque is made up of fats, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque can line the arteries, narrowing them and limiting the flow of blood to the body. Left untreated, atherosclerosis can lead to heart attack, stroke, or even death. A slow, progressive disease that may start in childhood, atherosclerosis generally is preventable by eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, losing weight, lowering blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels, and getting more exercise.

Atherosclerosis can occur in arteries anywhere in the body, including the brain, heart, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys. Various diseases can result based upon where in the body the arteries are clogged. Atherosclerosis is the underlying cause of most cases of heart attack, stroke, and vascular dementia, collectively known as cardiovascular disease.

At UAB, you will receive expert heart and vascular services from our healthcare providers at both our UAB campus and at our Acton Road location just off I-459. Specialists from UAB’s world-renowned team offer you the best evidence-based care for coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, rhythm disturbances, diseased valves, and other heart and vessel conditions. And when you visit our clinics, you can expect friendly, personalized care backed by UAB’s sophisticated facilities and equipment.

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