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Question
Posted by: G | 2011-09-14

Angina

What is Angina? What causes it?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCardiologist

Hi G

Angina (angina pectoris to give it its full name) is the discomfort people get when the blood flow to the heart muscle is inadequate. It is usually due to blockage of one or more of the arteries ("coronary" arteries) which supply blood to the heart muscle, but may sometimes be due to other conditions eg a badly narrowed outlet valve ("aortic" valve) or even occasionally to severe anaemia.

Typically it occurs when people do something physical eg climb a hill: under those circumstances the heart muscle has to work harder and needs more blood, but can't get more blood because of the blockage or blockages. Often however angina may occur at rest eg at night.

Usually it is an unpleasant feeling of heaviness or pressure which is felt over a wide area in the middle of the chest, but may also be felt in one or both arms, in the wrists, in the jaw, or in the back. It is also important to note that angina is often only the tip of the iceberg and blocked arteries may cause other symptoms - eg shortness of breath or just inappropriate tiredness ("silent angina") which are equally important.

In my opinion anyone who has angina should see a cardiologist, if possible, but then being one myself I am perhaps a bit biased!

Hope that is helpful

Regards

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Our users say:
Posted by: Cardiologist | 2011-09-23

Hi G

Angina (angina pectoris to give it its full name) is the discomfort people get when the blood flow to the heart muscle is inadequate. It is usually due to blockage of one or more of the arteries ("coronary" arteries) which supply blood to the heart muscle, but may sometimes be due to other conditions eg a badly narrowed outlet valve ("aortic" valve) or even occasionally to severe anaemia.

Typically it occurs when people do something physical eg climb a hill: under those circumstances the heart muscle has to work harder and needs more blood, but can't get more blood because of the blockage or blockages. Often however angina may occur at rest eg at night.

Usually it is an unpleasant feeling of heaviness or pressure which is felt over a wide area in the middle of the chest, but may also be felt in one or both arms, in the wrists, in the jaw, or in the back. It is also important to note that angina is often only the tip of the iceberg and blocked arteries may cause other symptoms - eg shortness of breath or just inappropriate tiredness ("silent angina") which are equally important.

In my opinion anyone who has angina should see a cardiologist, if possible, but then being one myself I am perhaps a bit biased!

Hope that is helpful

Regards

Reply to Cardiologist

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