What causes atherosclerosis?

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Jonathan A. Fialkow, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The cause of atherosclerosis and heart disease is an inflammation in the arteries, but cholesterol levels are not good indicators of the condition. In this video, I will explain.
Scripps Health
Administration
Too much LDL or “bad” cholesterol in the bloodstream can lead to atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries. This condition increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. Conversely, low levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol can also increase risk because HDL helps keep LDL levels in check. 
Susie Whitworth
Nursing
Although the exact cause of atherosclerosis is not known, it is known that certain factors damage the inner layers of the arteries, which increase the risk of atherosclerosis. The factors that increase the risk of atherosclerosis include: 1) smoking  2) elevated cholesterol levels  3) high blood pressure  4) diabetes.

As plaque accumulates in the arteries, it limits blow flow, causing atherosclerosis. This buildup happens slowly, and while there is no single cause of the disease, smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and other diseases may all contribute to its development. Talk to your doctor if you think you may be at risk for atherosclerosis.