Atherosclerosis is also called hardening of the arteries. When the lining inside an artery is damaged, fat and plaque build up. This causes the artery walls to thicken, and the blood vessel narrows or sometimes gets blocked.
Coronary artery disease is a localized form of atherosclerosis. It’s when the arteries that supply blood to the heart narrow, which can lower the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the heart, especially when your heart beats faster, like during exercise. Extra strain on the heart may result in chest pain (called angina) and other symptoms.