More than six million people in the United States have angina pectoris, a condition characterized by chest pain due to a temporary lack of oxygen-rich blood to the heart. Most people with angina have coronary artery disease, with narrowed arteries due to atherosclerosis. Chest pain and discomfort are the main symptoms. Other common signs include:
- Indigestion or a heartburn-like sensation
- Shortness of breath.
There are three types of angina, each with different symptoms and treatment options. Stable angina occurs when the heart is working harder than usual; this generally goes away with rest. Unstable angina is dangerous and requires emergency treatment; variant angina occurs at rest and can be relieved, in most cases, by medicine.
(To learn more, click Angina. This article explores other topics such as the difference between angina and a heart attack, other potential symptoms, and some of the treatment options that are available.)