Angina or Angina Pectoris or Heart Pain

What is Angina or Angina Pectoris


Angina or Angina Pectoris (Latin word means ‘squeezing of the chest’) is chest pain caused by insufficient blood flow and oxygen to the heart muscle. This is frequently caused by narrowing or blockages of the  coronary arteries that deliver oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle, known as coronary artery disease. The heart muscle is overhauled by the coronary arteries, if these arteries are narrowed; the decreased blood flow implies that the heart muscle receives less oxygen than it needs to properly function. The cells of the heart, called Myocardial Cells, are damaged. The severity of the heart attack depends on how many Myocardial Cells are damaged or killed. Angina is often a warning sign of an impending heart attack, one patient in ten is likely to have a heart attack within a year of diagnosis of Angina.

Causes of Angina

Symptoms of Angina

  • Pain in the chest that may begin as a indistinguishable uneasiness or ache usually in the centre of the chest
  • Heaviness or tightness in chest
  • Pain in arms, neck, jaw, back or stomach as well
  • Shortness of breath, anxiousness or nausea
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Heart Valve Disease
  • Inherited structural abnormalities of the coronary arteries
  • Severe anemia

Prevention of Angina

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) is irreversible; however, one can prevent Angina from getting worse by keeping your heart healthy.

  • Reduce cholesterol level
  • Be physically active
  • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight
  • Control your blood glucose if you have diabetes
  • Drink moderate amounts of alcohol.
  • Use medications that help to prevent angina attack

Triggers of Angina

English: Coronary arteries (arteria coronaria)...
English: Coronary arteries (arteria coronaria) of a pig (Sus scrofa domestica) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  • High emotional stress or excitement
  • Cold temperatures
  • Large meal

Diagnosis of Angina

Angina can be diagnosed by following tests

  • Electrocardiogram (ECG)
  • ETT . Electrocardiogram (ECG) is conducted while the patient is riding a stationary bicycle or walk on a treadmill. The test is stopped once angina is triggered
  • Coronary Catheterization. Examines arteries to see if they are narrowed or blocked and involves injecting a dye into your arteries through a thin catheter.

Treatment of Angina

  • Stop underlying heart disease to prevent it from getting worse.
  • Blood flow to the heart is improved through medicine, exercise and life style changes that make the angina to get better.

Medication for Angina

  • Nitroglycerin And Oral Nitrates. These medicines temporarily expand coronary arteries, allowing the heart to get more blood and oxygen.
  • Beta Blockers. These medicines slow heart rate and lower blood pressure, reducing the heart’s need for oxygen.
    • Atenolol
    • Metoprolol
    • Propranolol
  • Calcium Channel Blockers.  Slow heart rate and cause arteries to expand.
    • Nifedipine
    • Amlodipine
    • Diltiazem
  • Statins.  Lowers cholesterol

Risk Factors of Angina

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  3. Chronic Pain Syndrome (
  4. Clinical Depression (
  5.  Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) (
  6. DementiaSignificantly impaired intellectual functioning (
  7. Depression – A Serious Brain Disorder (
  8. DiabetesA chronic medical condition (

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