The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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What is angina?

Living

with Angina

You have been diagnosed with angina and you are willing to get the facts right about your condition. This is a good place to start: here, you can find all the necessary information to understand angina, its global impact, its causes and consequences, and how to get angina under control.​

What does angina mean?1

Angina, also called angina pectoris, is a type of chest pain or discomfort caused by an imbalance between what your heart needs in oxygen (oxygen demand) and what your heart receives in oxygen (oxygen supply). In other words, it’s when your heart isn’t receiving enough oxygen-rich blood.

It feels like pain, pressure, tightness, or discomfort in your chest but can also express itself in your arms, back, shoulders, neck, jaw, or tummy.​

What are the 4 types of angina?1, 5

There are 4 types of angina that can be diagnosed:​

What does it look like in your blood vessels?

What are the multiple faces of angina?1, 6

Depending on the type of angina you have been diagnosed with and your risk factors, the symptoms vary from person to person in terms of location, frequency, and severity. Chest pain, chest tightness/heaviness, and fatigue are the main symptoms. ​

Angina can express itself in many ways. Always tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, even if they don’t bother you too much. ​

Angina can express itself in many ways. Always tell your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, even if they don’t bother you too much. ​

Have a look at the multiple faces of angina:​

Test your knowledge with these “myth or fact” questions

ANGINA IS NOT A COMMON SYMPTOM.

MYTH: Although 1.6% of the world’s population is living with angina, this number is underestimated. Indeed, due to the diversity of symptoms, angina remains underdiagnosed in almost 43% of patients.3,9
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

​ONCE I HAVE ANGINA, IT’S FOR LIFE.

MYTH: Angina is definitely a chronic symptom. However, you have an important role to play in getting angina under control by taking your medication regularly, making lifestyle changes, and knowing your triggers.1
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

​A HEART ATTACK IS NOT ALWAYS THE REASON FOR MY CHEST PAIN.

FACT: Chest pain can be caused by several other conditions such as asthma, pneumonia, or coronary artery syndrome where it is considered as one of the main symptoms for angina patients. This is why it is necessary to talk with your doctor to make the right diagnosis.1,10
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

​BECAUSE I HAVE DIABETES, I WILL HAVE ANGINA.

MYTH: Diabetes is what we call a risk factor, meaning it will increase the chances of having angina but it doesn’t mean you will necessarily get angina! You may have one or more risk factors but you can have a positive impact by making lifestyle changes.1
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

​CHEST PAIN IS THE ONLY SYMPTOM OF ANGINA.

MYTH: Angina manifests itself in different ways. Chest pain is one of the main symptoms but there are many other symptoms such as fatigue, breathing difficulties, dizziness, strong sweat, jaw/neck pain etc.​6
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

​EXERCISE IS TOO RISKY IF I HAVE ANGINA.

MYTH: Intensive and inappropriate exercise can be a trigger for angina. However, doing regular exercise, in a way that is right for you and with your doctor’s permission, is important to help manage your angina. Remember not to overexert yourself!1,2​
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

BECAUSE I HAVE ANGINA IT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN THAT I AM GOING TO HAVE A HEART ATTACK

FACT: Heart attack may be one of the complications of angina. However, you can prevent this complication by following your doctor’s recommendations and making lifestyle changes.1
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

IT IS IMPORTANT TO MANAGE ANGINA AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.

FACT: Indeed, by taking your medication regularly, making lifestyle changes, and knowing your triggers, it is possible to act on certain risk factors (obesity, unhealthy diet, smoking etc), prevent complications, and have angina under control.1
MYTH
OR
FACT
?

Discover the stories of other people living
with angina like you

Peter, 62 years old, who loves to walk his dog

Diagnosed with angina a year ago​

Mark, 58 years old, who loves cycling​

Diagnosed with diabetes 2 years ago and with angina 3 months ago​

Victoria, 63 years old, who loves spending time with her grandchildren

Had a heart attack a year ago and was diagnosed with angina 6 months ago

Listen to expert insights on angina and COVID-19

Let’s get angina under control!​

To get angina under control, download the AnginaControl application on App Store or get it on Google Play​!

Get it on Google Play
Download on the App Store Get it on Google Play

References

  1. NHLBI. Angina. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/angina/ Accessed March 23, 2021.​
  2. Knuuti J et al. Eur Heart J. 2020;41(3):407-477.​
  3. Vos T et al. Lancet. 2012;380(9859):2163-2196.​
  4. Ferrari R et al. Nat Rev Cardiol. 2018;15(2):120-132.​
  5. Goldman L, et al., eds. Angina pectoris and stable ischemic heart disease. In: Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Elsevier; 2021. Available at: https://booksite.elsevier.com/samplechapters/9781437716047/Sample%20Chapters%20and%20Table%20of%20Contents.pdf/ Accessed March 23, 2021.​
  6. Ambrosio G et al. Angiology. 2019;70(5): 397-406.​
  7. Berliner D et al. J Thorac Dis. 2018;10(suppl 15):S1777-S1784. ​
  8. Alexander KP et al. Interact J Med Res. 2016;5(2):e12.
  9. Qintar M et al. Eur Heart J Qual Care Clin Outcomes. 2016;2(3):208-214.
  10. Penn Medicine. 3 myths about the causes of chest pain. Available at: https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/heart-and-vascular-blog/2016/february/3-myths-about-the-causes-of-chest-pain/ Accessed April 6, 2021.