Is angina dangerous? Is angina chronic heart disease?

Angina, called angina pectoris by doctors, is a symptom of underlying coronary heart disease. It is caused by the narrowing of the heart arteries due to atherosclerosis, and is present in about 7 million Americans, with about 400,000 new cases yearly Angina pectoris refers to the aching and gripping pain that occurs in the area under the breastbone in the central part of the chest, and it may extend to the jaw or to the left shoulder and arm. This pain, usually lasting less than five minutes, occurs most typically in response to exercise, and is more common on exposure to cold, after meals, or during stressful moments.

What does unstable angina mean? 

Your doctor will term your angina “stable angina” if it comes at predictable times over a few weeks, but will refer to it as “unstable angina” if the pain comes at rest, is more severe, or increases in duration (over ten minutes) or frequency. Unstable angina is a signal that you need to seek immediate medical attention, as it may be the warning symptom of an impending heart attack.


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