Angina is the term used to describe a broad range of symptoms due to blockages in the coronary arteries that reduce blood flow to the heart muscle. Descriptions of angina include pain, pressure, tightness and heaviness. The discomfort may involve the chest, arms, neck, jaw and even the upper abdomen. Other symptoms such as sweating and shortness of breath may be associated with angina. Angina usually occurs during periods of activity but it can occur at rest. Angina that occurs frequently or at low levels of activity or stress, lasts longer than a few minutes, is not relieved with medicine or is very severe is considered “unstable” and more likely to lead to or be a heart attack.


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