The Health Significance Of The Clinical Manifestations Of Angina (Chest Pain)

Funom Makama By Funom Makama, 20th Mar 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Diseases & Infections

Angina (or angina pectoris) is a type of chest pain. The pain occurs when there is not enough blood flow to the heart muscle. The narrowing is usually caused by hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis). Angina is a symptom of coronary artery disease.

Types Of Angina

There are three main types of angina:
Stable Angina: This type of chest pain comes on during exercise and is both common and predictable. Stable angina is most often associated with atherosclerosis.

Variant Angina: Pain can occur at rest or during exercise. This type is primarily due to coronary artery spasm; though atherosclerosis may be a component.

Unstable Angina: This is most severe and occurs with no predicatability and can quickly lead to heart attack.

The pain of angina is often described as a:
1. Tightness or squeezing in the chest
2. Heaviness or weight on the chest. Chest pain from angina can spread (radiate).
• Down the left arm (most common site)
• To the left shoulder
• To the back
• To the neck or lower jaw
• Down the right arm

The pain of angina occurs during activities that make the heart work harder such as:
• Any physical activity (climbing stairs, having sex).
• Eating a large meal
• Emotional stress
• Exposure to cold

Other symptoms of angina include shortness of breath, nausea and a cold, sweaty feeling. Anyone with significant, new chest pain or a worsening of previously mild angina must seek medical care immediately. Angina is often relieved by rest and medication. In a diabetic, angina can be silent.

Heart Attack (Myocardial Infarction)

This occurs when an area of the heart muscle is completely deprived of food and oxygen and the heart muscle cells die. Usually, oxygen is carried to the heart by the arteries (blood vessels). A heart attack may result when a plaque inside the heart arteries breaks open or ruptures forming a clot that significantly blocks the flow of blood through the artery.

Hypertension increases the risk of atherosclerosis by damaging the lining of the arteries and increasing the likelihood that fatty deposits may form in them. Over time, this can lead to heart attack. A plaque is made up of cholesterol, white blood cells, calcium and other components and these are surrounded by a fibrous cap.

If a sudden surge in blood pressure causes the artery to constrict, the fibrous cap may tear or rupture. This signals the body to repair the injured artery lining such as it might heal a cut on the skin, by forming a blood clot to seal the area. A blood clot that forms in an artery can completely obstruct blood flow from the heart muscle and cause a heart attack.

The pain of heart attack usually lasts longer than 10 minutes and often occurs with other symptoms including:
• Chest discomfort or pain that is crushing, squeezing or feels like a heavy weight on the chest.
• Chest discomfort or pain that occurs with: sweating, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, pain that spreads from the chest to shoulders or arms, dizziness or light headedness, a sensation of doom, fast or irregular heartbeat.

Unlike angina, the pain of heart attack will not go away with rest. It is important to recognize the early stages of a heart attack and to seek emergency care. The goal of medical treatment for a heart attack is to relieve pain, preserve the heart muscle function and prevent death.

For more interesting and very important health related and medical articles, click on the links below
1. General Considerations, Clinical And Medical Classifications Of Anemia
2. Heart Failure: Definition, Detailed Causes And Precipitating Factors Of Cardiac Failure
3. Special Investigations In Cardiology II: The Significance Of Echocardiography
4. Clinical Significance And Health Importance On The Actions Of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) On The Adrenal Cortex

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
20th Mar 2014 (#)

Dr.Makama with those first symptoms on you or a love one, aspirin cause to calm those effects? This is before help arrives, is that true?

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author avatar Funom Makama
20th Mar 2014 (#)

YES! Totally right.. Aspirin has proven to be very effective in Angina management/treatment.. So when the first symptoms show, Aspirin is highly recommended! Good point Fern Mc.

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