What Causes Clogged Arteries? A Visual Guide

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A deadly disease

Drawings and text by Vicki Behm

An unpronounceable disease, atherosclerosis is the number-one killer in the United States; it’s responsible for more than a quarter of our deaths each year. Who knew? (Cancer is number two on the list.)

Atherosclerosis is a disease of the arteries, the blood vessels that carry oxygen and nutrients to our organs and tissues (including heart muscle tissue). It is a type of arteriosclerosis, the term for any stiffening of the arteries. Atherosclerosis is especially dangerous because it is hidden deep in the body and not easily detectable. It is a slow, progressive disease.

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