Complete Medical Guide and Prevention for Heart Diseases Volume V; Angina
Vangina pectoris–commonly known as angina–is chest pain do to ischemia of the heart muscle, generally due to obstruction or spasm of the coronary arteries. The main cause of Vangina pectoris is Coronary Artery Disease, due to atherosclerosis of the arteries feeding the heart. The term derives from the Latin angina ("infection of the throat") from the Greek ἀγχόνη ankhonē ("strangling"), and the Latin pectus ("chest"), and can therefore be translated as "a strangling feeling in the chest".
There is a weak relationship between severity of pain and degree of oxygen deprivation in the heart muscle (i.e., there can be severe pain with little or no risk of a heart attack, and a heart attack can occur without pain).
Worsening ("crescendo") angina attacks, sudden-onset angina at rest, and angina lasting more than 15 minutes are symptoms of unstable angina (usually grouped with similar conditions as the acute coronary syndrome). As these may herald myocardial infarction (a heart attack), they require urgent medical attention and are generally treated as a presumed heart attack.
- MedHealth, December 2012
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