Angina is chest pain or discomfort due to coronary artery disease. It occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough blood and oxygen. This usually occurs because one or more of the coronary arteries is narrowed or blocked. Insufficient blood supply is called ischemia.
Angina occurs when the heart needs more blood and oxygen. It may occur during exercise, with strong emotions, with extreme temperatures, after a heavy meal, with alcohol or smoking. The discomfort is relieved with rest or medication within a short period of time (usually within 15 minutes).
Chest discomfort of longer duration or occurring with a lower level of exercise than usual, even at rest, should be considered unstable angina. You should contact your physician.
Typical angina is an uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing, burning or pain in the center of the chest. It can also be felt in the neck, jaw, shoulder, back or arm. There can be difficulty breathing.
- High cholesterol
- Disease of heart valves
- High blood pressure
- Heart failure
- High blood sugar/diabetes
- Abnormal heart rhythm
- Family history
How it is Diagnosed:
- History and physical exam by physician
- Lab work
- Stress test
- CT scan
- Cardiac catherization
- Nitroglycerine to relieve chest pain by increasing the blood flow to the heart
- Control blood pressure
- Control cholesterol
- Antiplatlet therapy
- Stop smoking
- Prevent or manage diabetes mellitus
- Lower stress
- Coronary angiogram, angioplasty and stent placement
- Coronary artery bypass surgery
- External enhancement counter pulsation therapy
Other conditions associated with include:
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart attack