or a heart attack
can result from arteries that have been damaged by arteriosclerosis
. Arteriosclerosis happens when plaque forms inside the blood vessels, restricting their elasticity and causing them to become narrowed and brittle. If
plaque fractures, a clot can form inside the artery
. If the artery supplies the heart, this can cause a heart attack. If it supplies the brain and a piece of the clot breaks off and travels with the blood to the brain, stroke occurs.