Although there are many different forms of heart disease, atherosclerosis is the one that typically inspires most concern. It’s characterized by hardened arteries that restrict the flow of blood to the heart and is caused by the scar tissue created through the repair of cellular damage within the arterial lining. The scar tissue associated with atherosclerosis is susceptible to rupturing and can cause a blood clot that may further restrict, or even completely block, the flow of blood to the heart.
The materials that accumulate in the artery wall in response to cell damage are collectively referred to as plaque. As one of these materials, cholesterol earned it’s bad reputation simply by being at the scene of the crime.