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Angina happens when there is not enough blood flow to your heart muscle. Angina is a sign of coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease happens when fatty deposits called plaque (say "plak") build up inside your coronary arteries. This plaque may limit the amount of blood to your heart muscle. Having coronary artery disease also increases your risk of a heart attack.
Chest pain or pressure is the most common symptom of angina. But some people have other symptoms, like:
Most women feel symptoms in their chest. But women are somewhat more likely than men to have other angina symptoms like shortness of breath, tiredness, nausea, and back or jaw pain.
Angina can be dangerous. That's why it is important to pay attention to your symptoms. Know what is typical for you, learn how to control your symptoms, and understand when you need to get treatment.
A change in your usual pattern of symptoms is an emergency. It may mean that you are having a heart attack.
The doctor has checked you carefully, but problems can develop later. If you notice any problems or new symptoms, get medical treatment right away.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if you have any problems.
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Current as of: September 7, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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