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Heart

  • Date Submitted: 04/22/2013 06:31 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 35.3 
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Angina
Definition
Angina is pain, "discomfort," or pressure localized in the chest that is caused by an insufficient supply of blood (ischemia) to the heart muscle. It is also sometimes characterized by a feeling of choking, suffocation, or crushing heaviness. This condition is also called angina pectoris.
Description
Often described as a muscle spasm and choking sensation, the term "angina" is used primarily to describe chest (thoracic) pain originating from insufficient oxygen to the heart muscle. An episode of angina is not an actual heart attack, but rather pain that results from the heart muscle temporarily receiving too little blood. This temporary condition may be the result of demanding activities such as exercise and does not necessarily indicate that the heart muscle is experiencing permanent damage. In fact, episodes of angina seldom cause permanent damage to heart muscle.
Angina can be subdivided further into two categories: angina of effort and variant angina.
Angina of effort
Angina of effort is a common disorder caused by the narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that supply oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. In the case of angina of effort, the heart (coronary) arteries can provide the heart muscle (myocardium) adequate blood during rest but not during periods of exercise, stress, or excitement—any of which may precipitate pain. The pain is relieved by resting or by administering nitroglycerin, a medication that reduces ischemia of the heart. Patients with angina of effort have an increased risk of heart attack (myocardial infarction).
Variant angina
Variant angina is uncommon and occurs independently of atherosclerosis which may, however, be present as an incidental finding. Variant angina occurs at rest and is not related to excessive work by the heart muscle. Research indicates that variant angina is caused by coronary artery muscle spasm of insufficient duration or intensity to cause an actual heart attack.
Causes and...

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