An individual who has high cholesterol is at a greater risk of having a heart attack than someone who does not. Low-density lipoprotein is the form of cholesterol associated with a greater risk of a heart attack. Elevated levels of bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause a substance called plaque to stick and accumulate in the walls of the arteries. Plaque is made from mostly fat and cholesterol, but it also contains calcium and other substances that may be found in blood. Plaque eventually hardens or calcifies, making the affected arteries hard and stiff. As it accumulates, plaque takes up space in the vessels blood should be flowing through. General plaque buildup in arteries around the body is referred to as atherosclerosis. An individual who has atherosclerosis is more likely to develop the same issue in their coronary arteries. Plaque also has the potential to break off from their origination point and get lodged in other arteries, such as one of the coronary arteries. An obstruction from original plaque buildup or plaque that has migrated and become lodged in a coronary artery can cause a heart attack.
Keep reading to learn more about what can increase the risk of a heart attack now.