What is Angina?

  • Angina, otherwise known as angina pectoris, is a symptom of insufficient blood flow to the heart muscles.
  • The heart muscles need blood to pump efficiently. When the heart itself does not get enough blood to do the work required of it, various types of uncomfortable or painful symptoms can result. We call this pain or discomfort angina.
  • The word angina itself come from an old latin term meaning choking or suffocating. Pectoris is the medical term for chest.
  • Angina symptoms can vary from person to person and sometimes from episode to episode. Some symptoms of angina include:
    • a pressure sensation in the chest, shoulders, arms or jaw
    • a feeling of indigestion
    • lightheadedness, dizziness or sweating, especially with exertion
    • a squeezing feeling in the chest, shoulders, arms or jaw
    • a vague feeling of discomfort


      Angina symptoms can sometimes be brought on by exercise, exertion, stress or fatigue. They may get better with rest, but still warrant attention by your health care provider!

      Not everyone with heart disease will get angina. Some patients have ‘silent heart disease’ meaning they experience no symptoms despite the fact that their heart is taxed. One group of patients prone to developing “silent” heart disease is diabetics. Women in particular are prone to atypical symptoms.

      Remember if you are having symptoms or are not sure what your symptoms represent, call 911, see your doctor or go to your emergency room.