Peter Hibberd, M.D., is a doctor whose advice is based on more than 28 years of hospital outpatient and inpatient experience. He is an experienced emergency medicine physician, surgeon, and consultant. Dr. Hibberd is certified by the American Board of Emergency Medicine. He is also a fellow and active member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, an active member of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and a member and fellow of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Hibberd has earned numerous national and international professional certifications, memberships, and awards.
Tags: High Cholesterol | cholesterol | clogged | arteries | statins | plaque

How Long Does Cholesterol Take to Clog Arteries?

By    |   Friday, 14 Jun 2013 11:40 AM

Question: Is it true it takes a number of years for plaque to build up in your arteries from high levels of cholesterol?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
 
Plaque usually takes 5 to 10 years to build up to levels we are concerned about. Remember it is not always the size of the plaque that is the greatest risk. The stability of the plaque is most important. We stabilize plaque using statin drugs, and then try to reduce plaque size by reducing blood levels of free fats and cholesterol.
 
Statin drugs not only work on reduced liver production of cholesterol, but they also as anti-inflammatory agents at the cellular level, and by this mechanism we believe they lower the potential risks posed by plaque.
 
You can also stabilize plaque by stopping smoking, regular exercise, and controlling hypertension and diabetes.

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