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Question
Posted by: sooty | 2005/07/06

is this angina

i have pain in between my shoulder blades and tightnees in my chest could it be angina. my father had a heart attack at 42 years of age and my mother died of aheartattack aged 63 I am 42 years old female and i have just stoped smoking I smoked 20 a day i have also had a totall hystorectomy when i was 33 years old. do you think i should see anyone about this pain. please tell me what it is.

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Our expert says:
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Dear Sooty,

Without a full examination, and some test, I cannot tell you for sure what this is, but I can give you an idea.

You have a double-dose of family history for heart disease, and you have smoked heavily until now. Even though you have stopped, and your lungs will benefit immediately from this, it will take MANY years before the effects of smoking on your heart risk profile returns to normal. But good for you that you stopped – you can only benefit from this.

Angina is usually a central type of chest pain, brought on by activity and relieved by stopping the activity or resting. In advanced cases, this pain can even occur at rest, and may take longer to respond to the usual painkillers used under the tongue. Not all angina is the same, so you may have a slightly different form, but it could still be angina. The only way to make sure about this is to see a cardiologist for a checkup.

Now for the bad news. You cannot ignore the high risk you have of there being a serious lung problem caused by your years of heavy smoking. The lung problem could be anything from emphysema to bronchospasm to a cancer to a chronic infection, and all of these could give you similar symptoms.

You DEFINITELY should see someone about this. If you have a good GP, then go to him. Apart from a full examination, he should consider doing a Full Blood Count, chest x-ray and FEV-1 test to start with. If he finds any problems, then he can refer you to the correct specialist.

Good luck.

HeartDoc

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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