Effects of High Cholesterol
Special arteries, called coronary arteries, bring blood to the heart. Narrowing of your coronary arteries due to plaque can stop or slow down the flow of blood to your heart. When the arteries narrow, the amount of oxygen-rich blood is decreased. This is called coronary artery disease (CAD). Large plaque areas can lead to chest pain called angina. Angina occurs when the heart does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood. Angina is a common symptom of coronary artery disease.
Some plaque has a thin covering and bursts, releasing fat and cholesterol into the bloodstream. This release of fat and cholesterol may cause your blood to clot, which can block the flow of blood. This blockage can cause angina or a heart attack.
Nobody knows why plaque buildup happens, but a narrowed or blocked blood vessel can prevent blood from getting to where it needs to go. Without blood, tissues will die. Lowering your cholesterol can reduce your chances of experiencing life-threatening effects associated with high cholesterol.