Atherosclerosis, also called clogged or hardened arteries, is a serious and common medical condition. Arteries, the vessels that take oxygenated blood to all parts of the body, can become clogged by a substance called plaque that attaches to the inner walls of arteries. Plaque build-up also contributes to the hardening of arterial walls. Plaque-build up in arteries is most commonly linked to heart attack, stroke, blood clots and even death.
Information. Plaque is composed of substances found in the blood, such as fat, cholesterol and calcium. As the amount of plaque increases in the blood, it attaches to the wall of arteries and limits the amount of oxygen that reaches organs and circulates throughout the body. Diminishing amounts of oxygen can cause or contribute to a host of diseases throughout the body. The cause of atherosclerosis is not known but risk factors have been identified.