Plaque buildup in your arteries affects your treatment and risk for heart disease and stroke. The more serious your condition is when you start treatment, the more key treatment is to prevent heart attack and stroke. By lowering your blood cholesterol, you can help prevent further plaque buildup. Lower cholesterol, though, may not get rid of plaque that's already there. So treatment to lower cholesterol does not completely eliminate your risk. Your arteries may already be narrowed enough to cause chest pain called angina or other health problems. If so, your doctor may need to prescribe other treatment.