Find over 200 print-friendly fact sheets about heart disease and related health topics.
Angina is a symptom of heart disease. Angina happens when there is not enough
blood flow to the heart muscle. This is often a result of narrowed blood
vessels, usually caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
The most common symptom of angina is chest pain or pressure, or a strange feeling in the chest. Some people feel pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly, or in one or both shoulders or arms.
Other symptoms of angina include shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, lightheadedness or sudden weakness, or a fast or irregular heartbeat.
Angina can be stable or unstable. Stable angina happens at fairly predictable times, usually with
activity or exertion. It also may occur during exposure to cold or times of
emotional stress. Stable angina can be relieved by rest or nitroglycerin. Unstable angina is a change in your usual pattern of stable angina. Unstable angina is a warning sign
that a heart attack may soon occur.
If you have angina, pay attention to
your symptoms, know what is typical for you, learn how to control it, and
understand when you need to get treatment.
April 4, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & John M. Miller, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
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