In order to make an angina diagnosis, your healthcare provider will ask a number of questions; perform a physical exam, looking for signs and symptoms; and recommend certain tests and/or procedures. These procedures are administered to:
- Decide if you have angina
- Determine the extent and severity of the disease
- Rule out other possible causes of your symptoms.
Treatment for angina can include lifestyle changes, medications, and special procedures. The treatment you and your doctor decide on will likely depend on your overall health, the extent of your angina, and your risk of problems in the future.
The goals of treatment are to:
- Decrease how often angina symptoms occur and how severe they are
- Prevent or lower the risk of heart attack and related death.
Lifestyle changes and medicine may be the only treatments needed if your symptoms are mild and are not getting worse. However, unstable angina is an emergency condition that requires treatment in the hospital.
There is an old saying that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This is definitely the case with angina. Since this is a largely preventable disease, a person can lower his or her chances of developing it through knowledge and choices. Knowledge is defined as understanding angina and the risk factors for it and heart disease; choices are defined as making good decisions to control heart disease and angina risk factors.
Regardless of your age, background, or health status, you can lower your risk for angina -- and it doesn't have to be complicated. Protecting your heart can be as simple as taking a brisk walk, whipping up a good vegetable soup, or getting the support you need to maintain a healthy weight.
And the good news: Research shows that people can lower their risk for heart disease and angina enormously -- by as much as 82 percent -- simply by adopting sensible health habits. It's never too late to start protecting your heart health. A recent study shows that among people ages 70 to 90, leading a healthy lifestyle reduces the chances of dying from heart disease by nearly two-thirds.