What is Angina?
Angina is a syndrome that is caused when the supply of blood to the heart becomes restricted. Most cases are caused by atherosclerosis. This is a condition where the arteries become harder and narrower and restrict the supply of blood.
There are two main types of angina- stable angina and unstable angina. With stable angina, your symptoms will develop over time and follow a set pattern. With unstable angina, the symptoms develop rapidly can last up to 30 minutes. Unstable angina should be regarded as a medical emergency.
How common is Angina?
Angina is common, particularly with older people. An estimated 10-15% of women over 65 in England have angina, and 10-20% of men.
What are the symptoms of Angina?
The most common symptom of angina is pain or discomfort in your chest. Other symptoms include breathlessness, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, burping and restlessness.
The symptoms of unstable angina may not follow the usual pattern of symptoms- they can develop without angina triggers, can persist during rest and last longer than 5 minutes.
How is Angina treated?
A combination of surgery and medication will probably be recommended for angina if you are at risk of a heart attack or stroke.
If you are considered low risk of a heart attack or stroke you may be treated with medication and lifestyle changes. Glyceryl trinitrate is a medication that is widely used to provide immediate relief from the symptoms of angina.
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