Dictionary Definition: atherosclerosis
- A disease in which fatty deposits called plaques build up in your arteries. Atherosclerosis is often accompanied by a general aging and stiffening of your arteries, a process called arteriosclerosis. Plaques can interfere with arterial function and blood flow and can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, peripheral arterial disease, strokes, and transient ischemic attacks. This condition can also damage the arteries that go to the kidneys.