BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY BSIP VEM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Atheroma. Magnified view of a slice through the aorta showing a thick deposit of atheroma (top) caused by the disease atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is the biggest cause of death in the UK. It causes progressive narrowing of the arteries by deposits of atheroma, which consists of a mixture of fat, dead muscle cells, fibrous tissue, cholesterol and blood cells. The deposits disrupt blood flow and encourage the formation of abnormal clots that can break off in fragments and block smaller blood vessels. Atherosclerosis in the heart's arteries is the main cause of death by heart disease. Atherosclerotic interference with blood supply to the brain is the main cause of stroke.
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