What Is Angina and What Causes It?

Q:
What is angina and what causes it?

A:
Definition

Angina, also called angina pectoris, is a type of chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart. It is a symptom of coronary artery disease. People with angina may have squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or pain in your chest. If you have unexplained chest pain, seek medical attention right away.

Causes

Angina is caused by reduced blood flow to your heart muscle. The most common cause of reduced blood flow to your heart muscle is coronary artery disease (CAD). There are types of angina:

  • Stable angina, which is caused by physical exertion.
  • Unstable angina, which is caused by rupture of fatty deposits (plaques) in a blood vessel or a blood clot.
  • Prinzmetal’s angina, which is caused by a spasm in a coronary artery in which the artery temporarily narrows.
* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.