Health effects of angina

Learn how angina can affect your health.

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Physical effects of angina

Angina is a physical symptom of coronary artery disease, the most common type of heart disease.

Angina occurs when the heart muscle doesn't get as much blood as it needs. This can happen if one or more of the heart's arteries gets blocked or is too narrow. The narrowing of an artery is common as you get older. Narrowing can happen earlier for people:

  • who smoke
  • with diabetes
  • with high cholesterol
  • with high blood pressure

If you have angina, you may experience:

  • pressure
  • chest pain
  • sensation of fullness
  • squeezing in the centre of the chest
    • this feeling may spread to other areas of your body, such as your  arms, back and neck

Increased risk effects of angina

Angina is a warning signal that you are at increased risk of:

  • a heart attack
  • cardiac arrest, which is when blood suddenly stops circulating effectively in your body due to heart failure
  • sudden cardiac death, which is a sudden death due to heart failure

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