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Atherosclerosis is a disease that affects the blood vessels that carry blood away from the heart to the organs of the body. These blood vessels are called arteries. Atherosclerosis is due to fatty, cholesterol deposits that begin within the blood vessel wall and eventually progress to cause narrowing of the blood vessel itself. Atherosclerosis can occur in anyone and has been shown to begin at a young age even though it may not cause problems until years later. It is also more common in those with risk factors such as smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, among others. Atherosclerosis can also occur in any artery and can lead to many types of diseases including heart disease, stroke and kidney failure.
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