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Angina is a term that is used to describe the pain, breathlessness, and choking feeling that can be caused by restricted blood flow in arteries that supply the heart. A typical attack of angina usually starts during exercise. It may feel like a heavy weight or a tightening of the upper chest. It is also likely to occur when walking after a meal, or during cold or windy weather. Anger or stress often makes angina pain worse.


The pain can move to the neck, throat, or arms and can make you feel that you are choking or that your arms are dead weights. The pain usually lasts for a short time and usually goes away fairly quickly after rest. The patient may also suffer breathlessness, sweatiness and a sense of fear.

Affecting about one in 50 people, angina can often be controlled with medication and certain lifestyle changes.

The majority of angina cases are caused by disease of the coronary arteries that occurs when the arteries become blocked by fatty deposits. This narrowing of the arteries means the heart cannot receive enough blood – particularly when it’s under the stress of exertion.

Other causes of angina include:
-narrowing of the aortic heart valve;
-fast, abnormal heart rhythms;
-diseases of the heart muscle.

There are three main types of angina: Stable angina, brought on by exertion and usually brief;
unstable angina, brought on by very little exertion or even when resting, and is usually the result of severe narrowing of a coronary artery;
and variant angina, caused by a spasm of the coronary artery, and more prevalent in women.

Though angina does occur in younger people (mostly men), it is much more common in people over 50. people are more prone to angina if they:
-have high cholesterol;
-have high blood pressure;
-have diabetes;
-do very little physical activity;
-or have a family history of angina.

If you have any of these markers, and develop chest pain at anytime, be sure to visit your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will ask you about your pain, will examine you, feel for pulses in your legs, check for swelling, listen to your heart and chest, check your blood pressure, and look for signs of high cholesterol or anemia. He may also order some hospital tests that can include: an ECG (electrocardiogram), an echocardiogram, and/or an angiogram.

A small daily dose of aspirin is often prescribed, because it decreases the risk of having a heart attack. Glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) is given for relief during attacks. This comes as an oral spray or tablets placed under the tongue. Other treatments to prevent an angina attack are: "long-acting" nitrates that widen the coronary arteries to improve blood flow to the heart; beta-blockers which slow the heart rate and the pumping power of the heart; calcium channel blockers which relax the coronary arteries and other blood vessels and reduce the force of the contraction of the heart; and the potassium-channel activator, nicorandil. Surgery may be necessary for severe angina cases.

There are several practical steps you can take to prevent angina: -if you smoke, stop;
-maintain a healthy blood pressure;
-eat a low-fat, high-fiber diet, rich in fruit and vegetables;
-try to eat oily fish such as sardines or salmon, once a week;
-have your cholesterol level checked - if it’s high, ask your doctor about the options for reducing it;
-if you have diabetes, you should aim to closely control your blood sugar levels;
-engage in regular exercise.

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Atenolol, or Tenormin, is one of a group of medicines is known as beta-adrenergic blocking agents, beta-blocking agents, or beta-blockers. Atenolol is used in the treatment of high blood pressure, used to relieve angina, and in heart attack patients to he more...

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Amyl nitrite bottle

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Diltiazem is in a class of drugs called calcium channel/blocker. Diltiazem relaxes your blood vessels which makes it easier for your heart to pump and reduces the workload on it. Diltiazem is used to treat hypertension, to treat angina and to slow unusu more...

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