Atherosclerosis is an arteriosclerosis characterized by atheromatous deposits in and fibrosis of the inner layer (intima) of the arteries. The degenerative condition is known as atheroma. It manifests itself by nodes, or plaques, of yellowish material containing a high proportion of cholesterol and other lipids. As these plaques enlarge, and the intima increases in thickness, the lumen of the artery becomes smaller and smaller. In due course the lumen of the artery may be so narrowed that it becomes blocked. If this occurs in the coronary arteries, which supply the heart muscles, the result is the all too common coronary thrombosis, or heart attack. if it occurs in the arteries in the brain it causes a stroke. The cause of atherosclerosis is not known, but one factor is the consumption of excessive saturated fats.
a stage of arteriosclerosis involving fatty deposits (atheromas) inside the arterial walls, thus narrowing the arteries
A study (2000) of 249 US teenagers found that 80 percent had an unhealthy buildup of cholesterol on artery walls, often the result of eating high-fat foods.