Harvard Health Letter

Can we reduce vascular plaque buildup?

The key is lowering LDL and making lifestyle changes.

High blood levels of cholesterol encourage the formation and growth of vascular plaques that put you at risk for heart attack and stroke. So can we reduce plaque buildup? "Making plaque disappear is not possible, but we can shrink and stabilize it," says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Medical School professor.

Image: Thinkstock

Plaque forms when cholesterol (above, in yellow) lodges in the wall of the artery.

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