What Is Angina?

Friday, 01 Jul 2011 01:21 PM

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Angina is a type of chest pain that occurs when there is reduced blood flow to the heart. This pain is one of the common symptoms of coronary heart disease, and it is most often described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or pain in the chest. Coronary heart disease is brought on by a narrowing of the arteries due to a build-up of fatty deposits, or plaques.

Also called angina pectoris, angina can come on suddenly and acutely, or it can be a recurring problem. The pain is relatively common among older people, but it can be difficult to distinguish from other ailments that cause chest pain, like indigestion or heartburn. Seek medical attention right away if you experience unexplained chest pain, as this may signal a heart condition or a heart attack.

Even if you have coronary heart disease, you may not experience angina at all times. When the body is resting, there is a low demand for oxygen-rich blood to the heart and the muscle can function normally with the lowered amount of blood that it is getting. When the body is active, however, the heart needs more oxygen-rich blood and it cannot get by with reduced blood flow. This will result in angina. There are three classifications of angina:

• Stable angina: Occurs when the heart is not getting the required amount of oxygen. Physical exertion, emotional stress, cold temperatures, heavy eating, and smoking can cause this form of angina.
• Unstable angina: If fatty deposits in a blood vessel rupture or a blood clot forms, blood flow to the heart can be quickly and dramatically reduced. Unstable angina can also be caused by severe anemia, especially when you already have narrowed arteries. If left untreated, unstable angina will result in a heart attack.
• Variant angina: Accounting for about 2 percent of angina cases, variant angina is caused by a spasm in a coronary artery, which causes the artery to narrow temporarily. This type of angina is also called Prinzmetal’s angina.

Angina may come and go, but it is a dangerous symptom of a greater health problem.

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink

PLEASE NOTE: All information presented on Newsmax.com is for informational purposes only. It is not specific medical advice for any individual. All answers to reader questions are provided for informational purposes only. All information presented on our websites should not be construed as medical consultation or instruction. You should take no action solely on the basis of this publication’s contents. Readers are advised to consult a health professional about any issue regarding their health and well-being. While the information found on our websites is believed to be sensible and accurate based on the author’s best judgment, readers who fail to seek counsel from appropriate health professionals assume risk of any potential ill effects. The opinions expressed in Newsmaxhealth.com and Newsmax.com do not necessarily reflect those of Newsmax Media. Please note that this advice is generic and not specific to any individual. You should consult with your doctor before undertaking any medical or nutritional course of action.

Keeping you up to speed on Lifestyle, health, and money-saving tips
 
 
Get me on Fast Features
Keeping you up to speed on Lifestyle, health, and money-saving tips
 
Follow Newsmax
Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved