Cholesterol is a fatty type substance produced by the body and absorbed from the food you eat. Some cholesterol is necessary for many normal bodily structure and function, including some hormone production. Increased levels of cholesterol, however, are associated with an increased risk of diseases such as heart attack and stroke. This occurs when cholesterol and fatty deposits called atherosclerotic plaque form within blood vessel walls and eventually impair normal blood flow and blood vessel function (see fig. 2-4).
Figure 1: Normal Artery.
Figure 2: Atherosclerotic plaque.
Figure 3: Ruptured plaque.
Figure 4: Blood clot blocking blood flow leading to heart attack or stroke.
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