Sunday, 12th July 2020

This Month's Magazine
ANGINA is a symptom of coronary heart disease.

ANGINA is a symptom of coronary heart disease.

You are more likely to get angina as you get older and men are more likely to get it than women. – Extract taken from Bupa International health information. Full fact sheets and binder are available from STM Nummos Life

Angina usually starts with chest pain or tightness when you are under stress or doing some sort of physical activity. There are two main types of angina.

Stable angina is when you get regular or predictable symptoms that you have had for more than two months. Symptoms of stable angina usually develop gradually over time and you can often notice a pattern to your symptoms. For example, it is common to only get symptoms when you do physical activity or if you are under a lot of stress. Symptoms of stable angina that get worse with physical activity often pass within a few minutes of rest.

Unstable angina is usually caused by sudden narrowing of a coronary artery and can mean you are at risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Symptoms of unstable angina often come on after only a small amount of effort or even when resting. There is often no pattern to your symptoms and they may last for 30 minutes or more. Pain and discomfort may develop quickly and be more severe and frequent than with stable angina. If you get sudden chest pain or you think you may have unstable angina, call for emergency help immediately.


If a coronary artery becomes completely blocked, part of the heart muscle may be starved of oxygen and become damaged. This is a heart attack. The pain is usually severe and lasts longer than that of angina.

If you have angina, your usual treatment may not relieve the pain of a heart attack. If you suspect that you, or someone else, is having a heart attack, call for emergency help immediately.

To prevent agina it is advisable to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This includes:

  • Not smoking
  • Losing excess weight
  • Doing 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate exercise over a week in bouts of 10 minutes or more, for example by carrying out 30 minutes on at least five days each week or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity
  • Eating a low-fat, high-fibre diet with five portions of fruit and vegetables a day
  • Not drinking more than four units of alcohol a day for men and three units for women

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