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Angina is the chest pain or discomfort which happens when your heart does not get enough oxygen-rich blood, a condition known as ischaemia. This is usually due to one or more of your coronary arteries being partially or fully blocked.
Angina is often described as pressure or squeezing in your chest. Sometimes this discomfort can also occur in your shoulders, arms, neck, jaw or back.
Although it is not a disease itself, angina is a sign that you may have coronary artery disease.
Women are more likely to suffer from angina than men.
There are several types of angina.
The main symptoms of angina are chest pain and discomfort, particularly feeling a squeezing sensation or pressure in your heart.
Other symptoms include:
If your chest pain lasts longer than a few minutes and does not stop when you rest or take angina medications, this may be a sign of a heart attack.
Call 6473 2222 to visit our Accident & Emergency (A&E) clinic immediately. Or call 995 for Emergency Medical Services (EMS).
Angina occurs when there is reduced blood flow to your heart muscle. Blood carries oxygen, which is essential to your heart muscle.
The most common reason why reduced blood flow happens is coronary artery disease. It develops when fatty deposits, called plaque, build up in the blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart. This buildup is also known as atherosclerosis.
When you are resting, your heart muscle may still be able to cope with reduced blood flow without triggering angina symptoms. However when you increase demand for oxygen, such as when you exercise or do a strenuous activity, angina can occur.
The following factors may increase your risk of suffering from coronary artery disease and angina.
The chest pain and discomfort due to angina can make normal activities, such as walking, uncomfortable.
The most dangerous complication of angina is a heart attack.
You can lower your chances of experiencing angina by making lifestyle changes such as:
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