What is plaque buildup in arteries?

Atherosclerosis. Narrowing or 'hardening of the arteries' seems like the body's way of planned obsolescence--or complete wearing out. Over time our arteries become more narrow and certain conditions speed up the process: smoking, diabetes (and overweight/metabolic syndrome), hi blood pressure, and hi cholesterol. Exercise can slow down the process. Plaque build up in arteries leads to heart attack and strokes.
I would also add... Cholesterol deposition in the arteries is preventable as some individuals and cultures do not get cad. Read "the china study" or watch cnn's "the last heart attack" or the documentary "forks over knives".

Related Questions

Help docs! I'm trying to find out what causes plaque buildup in the arteries?

Inflammation ; chol. Cholesterol and inflammation cause plaque build up in arteries. There is also a genetic component. High blood pressure causes damage to interior walls of arteries which causes certain cells(macrophages) to move there to repair the damage. This repair process leads to plaque build up. Read more...

How does the build up of plaque in someone with atherosclerosis cause the hardening of the arteries?

Not the same things. Plaque buildup (atherosclerosis) in the arteries can make them less flexible, but the old term "hardening of the arteries" (arteriosclerosis) is usually attributed to a decrease in flexibility of the vessel wall even without any plaque present. It is more related to the collagen/structure of the vessel wall themselves. The utility of this term is waning as medicine advances. Read more...

Does a normal CT Calcium Score Scan eliminate possibility of Atherosclerosis plaque build up in arteries?

Not entirely. Usually, a calcium score >100 indicates that calcium deposits are present & that coronary heart disease/obstruction is likely present. Scores between 0 & 100 are considered normal, but this may just indicate a very small amount of calcium that hasn't progressed to disease yet. At your age, follow heart disease prevention--non-smoking, healthy eating/exercise, not calcium score. Good wishes:) Read more...