Atherosclerosis and Coronary Artery Disease | Abbott Cardiovascular
CARDIOVASCULAR
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Plaque buildup in these tiny vessels can restrict blood flow and cause heart-related problems. Learn about factors that can lead to blockages and how to reduce the risk.

What is Atherosclerosis?

Atherosclerosis is the build up of plaque (fat, calcium and cholesterol deposits) inside artery walls that narrows the artery and restricts blood flow.

Atherosclerosis can lead to:

  • Reduced blood flow to organs and other tissue
  • Angina (chest pain)
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Death

Atherosclerosis Risk Factors

Risk factors for atherosclerosis include:

  • Age
  • Family history of heart disease
  • Smoking
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of physical activity

UNAWARE
Many people don’t know they have atherosclerosis until they have a medical emergency,
such as a heart attack or stroke.

Understand Coronary Artery Disease


To learn more coronary artery disease symptoms and treatment options, visit What is Coronary Artery Disease.

How to Prevent Plaque Buildup in Your Arteries

  • DON'T SMOKE. And avoid secondhand smoke as best you can.

  • CHOOSE A HEART-HEALTHY DIET. Limit sodium, sugar, saturated and trans fats, and refined grains. Opt for fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains and low-fat dairy.

  • MOVE MORE. Intentionally exercise for at least 30 minutes per day. In between, get up and move around as often as possible.

  • KEEP YOUR WEIGHT UNDER CONTROL. If you’re having difficulty losing weight, talk to your doctor about weight-loss resources, including meeting with a dietitian.

  • LIMIT ALCOHOL INTAKE. If you don’t already drink, it’s advisable not to start, and to consult your doctor on the benefit and risks of consuming alcohol in moderation.

Treatment for Narrowed Arteries

  • Lifestyle changes
  • Medication
  • Surgery
  • Angioplasty
  • Angioplasty plus stent placement

Download the infographic below to understand atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease: a look inside your arteries:


coronary artery disease symptoms infographic

View our patient resources to learn more.

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