Chronic angina, also known as stable angina, is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It’s a symptom of coronary artery disease, which is the narrowing of the arteries that supply blood to the heart muscle.
Chronic angina chest pain
Unlike unstable angina, which is a more serious condition that can lead to a heart attack, chronic angina is a predictable and ongoing condition. The chest pain typically occurs during physical activity, such as walking or climbing stairs, and goes away with rest or nitroglycerin medication.
Here are some of the key things to know about chronic angina:
Symptoms: The most common symptom of chronic angina is chest pain that feels like a squeezing, pressure, or heaviness in the chest. The pain may also radiate to the arms, shoulders, neck, or jaw. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, fatigue, and dizziness.
Causes: Chronic angina is caused by a buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries, which narrows the arteries and reduces blood flow to the heart muscle. This can happen due to a variety of factors, including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, and obesity.
Diagnosis: Your doctor will diagnose chronic angina based on your medical history, a physical examination, and tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), stress test, or coronary angiogram.
Treatment: Treatment for chronic angina focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing heart attacks. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly, are essential for managing chronic angina. Medications, such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, and nitrates, can also be used to relieve symptoms and improve blood flow to the heart. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to open up blocked arteries.
If you think you may have chronic angina, it’s important to see your doctor right away. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent serious complications, such as heart attacks.
Here are some additional resources that you may find helpful:
- The American Heart Association: https://www.acc.org/Latest-in-Cardiology/ten-points-to-remember/2021/10/27/14/06/2021-Guideline-for-Chest-Pain-gl_chestpain
- The Mayo Clinic: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/angina/symptoms-causes/syc-20369373
- The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMcp1502240