7 Things That Cause Plaque Buildup in the Arteries

You’ve Got the Power

Plaque buildup in the arteries—called atherosclerosis—causes the arteries to narrow, increasing the risk for heart attack and stroke. But you have the power to prevent, stop, and possibly even reverse plaque buildup with lifestyle changes. Find out what causes dangerous buildup and how to correct it.


Medically Reviewed By: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS | Last Review Date:

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Medical References

  1. Atherosclerosis. Academy of Family Physicians. http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/atherosclerosis.printerview.all.html
  2. Do You Know the Health Risks of Being Overweight? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.  http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/health_risks.htm
  3. The Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/effects
  4. Losing Weight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html
  5. Atherosclerosis. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HighBloodPressure/WhyBloodPressureMatters/Why-Blood-Pressur...
  6. Alcohol and Heart Disease. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Alcohol-and-Heart-Disease_UCM_305...
  7. Diabetes and Cholesterol. University of Illinois. http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/handouts/diabetes/diabetes_cholesterol.htm
  8. Who is at Risk for Atherosclerosis? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis/atrisk.html
  9. What Causes Atherosclerosis? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/atherosclerosis/causes.html
  10. Who is at Risk for Heart Disease? National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hdw/atrisk.html
  11. High Cholesterol -- Why Lower Your LDL? National Institute on Aging. http://www.nihseniorhealth.gov/highbloodcholesterol/whyloweryourldl/01.html
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