RICHARD KIRBY, DAVID SPEARS LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY RICHARD KIRBY, DAVID SPEARS LTD / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Macrophotograph showing the appearance of atheroma plaque located on the inner surface of a section of the human aorta, the major distributing artery in the body. Hardening & thickening of the arterial walls (atherosclerosis) is a major cause of illness & death in affluent societies, where cigarette smoking, high animal fat consumption and lack of exercise are contributing factors. Atherosclerosis affects the coronary arteries that supply the heart, where, in addition to physically blocking the artery, atheroma plaques may provoke haemorrhage & thrombus (clot) formation.
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