Atherosclerosis, the medical term for hardening of the arteries, occurs when the arteries narrow and become rigid. Left undetected or untreated, one or more of these vessels may become completely blocked.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains these risk factors:
- Having high blood pressure.
- Having high cholesterol.
- Being diabetic.
- Being overweight or obese.
- Using tobacco.
- Eating an unhealthy diet.
- Getting insufficient exercise.
- Having family members with heart disease.