Ask the doctor: Reversing atherosclerosis?

Ask the doctor

Q. Once I have atherosclerosis, is there anything I can do to reverse it, or is the best I can hope for just to keep it from getting worse?

A. Atherosclerosis—the buildup of fatty plaque inside the arteries—tends to be a slowly progressive disease. However, high doses of statin drugs (which drive harmful LDL cholesterol to very low levels) seem to stop the progression of atherosclerosis in people with high cholesterol and may even reverse plaque buildup, according to some research.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »