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Angina

Angina is a type of chest pain or discomfort caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina (an-JI-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) is a symptom of coronary artery disease. When your heart muscle (myocardium) doesn't get enough oxygen-rich blood, you may have chest pain. Angina is typically described as squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest. Many people with angina say it feels like someone is standing on their chest.

Angina, also called angina pectoris (pectoris means chest), may be stable or unstable:

§  Stable angina (also called chronic stable angina)

§  Unstable angina (signals an impending heart attack)

A third, a rare type of angina called variant angina (also called Prinzmetal's angina) is caused by a coronary artery spasm.

Angina is relatively common. More than 6 million people in the United States have angina. Angina can be hard to distinguish from other types of chest pain, such as the pain or discomfort of indigestion. If you have unexplained chest pain, seek medical attention right away.

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