Are There Different Types
There are a few different types of angina. Each type has its own defining characteristics.
- Stable angina. This type follows a consistent pattern, often occurring after exertion or stress. Symptoms typically dont last long and can be relieved using medication or with rest.
- Unstable angina. Unstable angina doesnt follow a pattern and can also be more severe. It can occur at rest, last longer, and may not be relieved with medications. Since it can progress to a heart attack, its considered a medical emergency.
- Microvascular angina. Microvascular angina affects the very small arteries in the heart. It can occur while youre performing your normal day-to-day activities, last a longer time, and cause severe pain. Medication may not ease symptoms. This type of angina may be more common in women.
- Variant angina. This type of angina is rare and can occur while youre resting or sleeping. Its caused by a sudden spasm of the arteries in your heart and can cause severe pain. Symptoms can often be relieved with medication, but in some cases the spasm of the arteries can lead to potentially life-threatening arrhythmias or damage to the heart muscle.
Is It Any Of The Above Is It At Least Two
Q: How many of the factors above can a patient have and still be considered “safe”?
A: I think if you have any of the above and you have chest pain, then its concerning and with each additional factor that you also have, that increases your pre-test probabilityI am sure there’s literature out there about how much, maybe one of the Framingham heart studies would categorize people better. I dont know the exact number off the top of my head but that would be a place to look because they identified risk factors for coronary risk factors in general. They did a good job at explaining and quantifying how much each additional risk factor adds to people.
How Is Unstable Angina Treated
Your provider may give you blood thinners like aspirin or clopidogrel to keep you from having a heart attack. While youre experiencing unstable angina, your provider may give you nitroglycerin and a blood thinner called heparin. You may also need medicine for:
- High cholesterol.
- A problem with your heart rhythm.
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What Makes You Worry That Chest Pain Is Serious Like A Heart Attack
When is chest pain serious? That dull burning feeling in your chest doesn’t seem to be going away, and even feels like it is getting worse. Is it a heart attack, or ?
It’s a vexing question, one that millions of people and their doctors face each year. What’s the problem? Chest pain can stem from dozens of conditions besides , from pancreatitis to pneumonia or panic attack.
Millions of Americans with chest pain are seen in hospital emergency departments every year. Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable , a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon. A few have another potentially life-threatening problem, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection . Some are experiencing “regular” angina, which occurs when part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. Most of them, though, had a condition unrelated to the heart or arteries.
The other tricky problem with heart attacks is that different people experience them in different ways. Some have classic chest pain. Others have jaw pain or back pain. Still others become breathless, or extremely fatigued, or nauseated.
How Long Does An Angina Attack Last
The pain associated with angina usually lasts more than a few minutes to about 30 minutes. Stable angina attack lasts for about 5 minutes, while unstable angina attack lasts longer than stable angina, i.e. up to 20 minutes. In some cases, the pain will go away and come back again in some time. Usually rest and medication helps in getting you relief from the angina attack. However, the severe cases of angina last for 30 minutes or even more. You need to seek immediate medical help in such cases of angina attack.
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Definition Of A Heart Attack
Q: What is a heart attack?
A: A heart attack is when one of the blood vessels that typically feeds blood and oxygen to the heart muscle itself becomes blocked. Thats the colloquial meaning of a heart attack. In medicine, we call it a myocardial infarction. It usually happens in the context of a patient or person who already has small pre-existing blockages scattered throughout the arteries that feed your heart called the coronary arteries.
Take Other Steps To Live Healthier
After a heart attack, it’s also important to:
- Take your medicines exactly as directed. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
- Do not take any over-the-counter medicines or natural health products without talking to your doctor first.
- If you are a woman and have been taking hormone therapy, talk with your doctor about whether you should continue taking it.
- Keep your blood sugar in your target range if you have diabetes.
- Get a flu vaccine every year. It can help you stay healthy and may prevent another heart attack.
- Get the pneumococcal vaccine. If you have had one before, ask your doctor whether you need another dose.
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. Ask your doctor how much, if any, is okay for you.
- Seek help for sleep problems. Your doctor may want to check for sleep apnea, a common sleep problem in people who have heart disease. For more information, see the topic Sleep Apnea.
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The Diagnoses That Are Fatal Within One Day
Q: Which causes do you think about first when a patient comes in with chest pain?
A: I start by thinking about the cant miss diagnoses that can cause people to die within a day. They include things like an ongoing heart attack, a pulmonary embolism , a pneumothorax , and an aortic dissection .
There are a few key questions you could ask to figure out if someone has one of those four cant miss conditions. Some of the questions are more historical and demographic. For example, if someone is very old, has smoked their whole life, has a history of high blood pressure and high cholesterol, they’re automatically at a much higher likelihood of having some of those cant miss conditions just by the nature of their risk factors. Afterwards, I would ask three other questions to tease out the true nature of the pain they’re having:
- if the pain comes on with exertion
- if it’s right under the chest under the breast-bone
- if its relieved by a nitroglycerin tablet.
A yes to any of the three questions would suggest that the patients chest pain is related to their heart not getting enough blood flow, which could indicate a heart attack.
Ambulance And Emergency Room
Treatment begins in the ambulance and emergency room. You may get oxygen if you need it. You may get morphine if you need pain relief.
The goal of your health care team will be to prevent permanent heart muscle damage by restoring blood flow to your heart as quickly as possible.
- Nitroglycerin. It opens up the arteries of the heart to help blood flow back to the heart.
- Beta-blockers. These drugs lower the heart rate, blood pressure, and the workload of the heart.
You also will receive medicines to stop blood clots. These are given to prevent blood clots from getting bigger so blood can flow to the heart. Some medicines will break up blood clots to increase blood flow. You might be given:
- Aspirin, which you chew as soon as possible after calling 911.
- Antiplatelet medicine.
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What Is An Angina Attack
The general symptoms of angina can include:
- chest pain or discomfort that usually starts behind the breastbone or in the chest and may feel like squeezing, tightness, heaviness, pressure or burning
- pain or discomfort that can also occur in your:
How Can You Test For A Heart Attack At Home
To measure your pulse on your own:
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Five Things To Know About Angina
Angina occurs when the heart does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood and is often a symptom of a serious heart condition. Interventional Cardiologist Jason Bartos, MD, PhD, shares five things you should know.
Do you feel like someone is squeezing your heart when you get stressed? Perhaps you feel pain in your left arm? Or experience indigestion when you exercise? You could be experiencing angina, or the symptoms people feel when part of the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
We spoke with Interventional Cardiologist Jason Bartos, MD, PhD, to learn more about angina, including what to look for and when to seek treatment.
Angina, which becomes more common as people age, can be a sign of other significant health issues, like coronary artery disease. The majority of people who experience angina do so because of plaque buildup on the wall of one or more coronary arteries that slowly and steadily constricts blood flow to the heart. If that artery suddenly becomes completely blocked, a heart attack occurs.
If youre experiencing angina, its important to understand the patternsfor example, what causes it, what makes it better, and how long it lastsand know how to react appropriately.
Angina Complications And Heart Attack Complications
Angina and heart attacks are associated with a series of mental, physical, and emotional complications that can also lead to additional health problems, making their cumulative conditions increasingly difficult to manage. Patients who are at risk of developing angina or suffering a heart attack should pay special attention to their diet and exercise routine and beware of the following conditions that may be triggered:
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Chest Pain: How A Doctor Decides It Could Be A Heart Attack
Posted October 26, 2015
Patients with chest pain come to my clinic with a nervous expression and a million-dollar question, “Doctor, is it my heart?”
Such concern is valid. But understanding how medical providers think about chest pain may allay some fear.
If you come to a clinic with chest pain, your provider will have questions about the major factors for heart disease. I will ask if you:
- have diabetes
- assess your age and gender
- check to see if you have a family history of heart disease.
What Is Unstable Angina
When you have unstable angina, your heart muscle doesn’t get as much oxygen-rich blood as it should because of plaque blockages and usually a blood clot in one or more of the arteries that feed your heart . Unstable angina is a type of angina that often doesnt have a pattern and usually gets worse. It happens with only mild physical activity or may happen without warning when youre at rest, relaxing or even asleep.
This is a dangerous type of angina that puts you at a big risk of having a heart attack if its not quickly treated. Many people who have heart attacks get unstable angina, exhaustion or shortness of breath days or weeks before their heart attack happens.
You should get medical help immediately.
In rare situations, your heart can stop beating, which is fatal.
How common is unstable angina?
Stable angina is more common than unstable angina in the 10 million Americans who have some type of angina. Estimates say unstable angina occurs in about 200,000 Americans each year. Stable and unstable angina are both more common with older adults, in men and in people who smoke, have diabetes or have high blood pressure. But people without any of these risks can also have unstable angina and should pay attention and act if they are having symptoms.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Its important not to ignore symptoms and wait until they become severe. If you have a concern, talk to your doctor. If heart disease is caught early, there are many lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of further problems: eat a healthy diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, get regular exercise , maintain a healthy weight, drink alcohol in moderation , and dont smoke.
Angina Vs Heart Attack: Differences In Complications Causes Symptoms And Treatments
Written byBel Marra HealthPublished onMarch 19, 2018
How can you tell the difference between angina vs. a heart attack? The two conditions are very closely related and have dangerously similar symptoms that can make them difficult to tell apart.
Despite sometimes being considered a chronic condition, angina can be manageable through various means as long as its detected and treated early on. Medical professionals view angina as a potential precursor or warning sign of an impending heart attack or severe heart condition. Typically characterized by sensations of pain or pressure felt in the chest area, particularly the heart, angina develops when theres a blockage in the arteries that causes them to tighten, preventing them from supplying sufficient amounts of blood and oxygen to the heart.
While angina isnt believed to be a symptom of a heart attack, its certainly a warning sign that you may be on the fast track to suffering one. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about deciphering the difference between angina and a heart attack and how to treat both conditions.
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Other Treatment In The Hospital
After a heart attack, you will stay in the hospital for at least a few days. Your doctors and nurses will watch you closely. They will check your heart rate and rhythm, blood pressure, and medicines to make sure you don’t have serious complications.
Your doctors will start you on medicines that lower your risk of having another heart attack or having complications and that help you live longer after your heart attack. You may have already been taking some of these medicines. Examples include:
- Aldosterone receptor antagonists.
- Statins and other cholesterol medicines.
You will take these medicines for a long time, maybe the rest of your life.
After you go home from the hospital, take all of your medicines correctly. Do not stop taking your medicine unless your doctor tells you to. If you stop taking your medicine, you might raise your risk of having another heart attack.
Typical Angina Symptoms: 3 Symptoms To Watch Out For
Q: What are some concerning symptoms of chest pain?
A: The ones that are concerning are if the chest pain is substernal , if its provoked by exertion or stress, and if its relieved by rest or nitroglycerin tablets. If you have all three of those, we call that typical chest pain or typical angina. Those are typical angina symptoms. That by definition means that you have obstructive coronary artery disease. If you only have one of those, then we think that there’s low likelihood that you have coronary artery disease. If you have 2 of them, then it’s kind of in the gray zone and in between.
The big caveat to this is that all of these symptoms, these 3 characteristics of typical angina, were based on studies that were done in the past and really looked predominantly at men. This typical chest pain and typical angina syndrome were defined historically based on large studies of men. So women tend to not have typical angina. Women tend to have a lot of atypical angina or other symptoms like nausea, lightheadedness or bloating, and that can be their equivalent of angina, so a lot of people might not pick up on that.
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Study: Correlation Between How Long Chest Pain Lasts And Whether Or Not Its A Heart Attack
Researchers from Henry Ford Hospital decided to investigate. The study notes that about 15 to 30 percent of chest pain cases in the ER turn out to be a heart attack.
The paper points out that an electrocardiogram is not 100 percent accurate, though this, and a troponin blood test, are important to ER physicians in evaluating for a possible heart attack.
The study involved 426 patients with chest pain and a 30-day follow-up. Out of that, 38 were diagnosed with a heart attack.
Average duration of chest pain was 120 minutes for them. It was 40 minutes for patients who did not have a heart attack.
For patients who had chest pain for under five minutes, there were no heart attack diagnosis.
Take The Ehac Oath With Us
We encourage you to start taking care of your heart health today. We can kick this commitment off by taking the EHAC oath together.
I understand that heart attacks have beginnings and on occasion, signs of an impending heart attack may include chest discomfort, shortness of breath, shoulder and/or arm pain and weakness. These may occur hours or weeks before the actual heart attack. I solemnly swear that if happens to me or anyone I know I will call 9-1-1 or activate Emergency Medical Services.