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Disease Begins in Your Teens

Coronary artery disease begins in your teens. The walls of your coronary arteries are like hollow tubes. They start out smooth and elastic.

Fat Builds Up in Arteries Over Time

By the time you are in your teens, they begin to show traces of fat in them. Over time, the fat builds up, causing injury to the walls. Risk factors such as those listed above make matters worse.

Plaques Causes Narrowing of Arteries

Coronary Artery DiseaseIn a bid to heal itself, your body's cells release chemicals that make the walls sticky. Substances traveling through your blood vessels -- inflammatory cells, proteins, calcium and more -- begin to stick to the walls.

They combine with fat and form plaque. This clogging substance causes the arteries to narrow.

Clots May Block Blood Flow

In some cases, blood platelets, which are designed to help clotting, come to the area and form blood clots. These clots may also block blood flow to the heart.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215