Heart Disease: What Is The Difference Between Angina And A Heart Attack?



Heart diseases are responsible for more than half of the deaths in the United States. One in every four deaths is caused by heart disease, making it the most common cause of death for both men and women. There are many different types of heart disease, but two of the most common are angina and heart attacks. So, what is the difference between angina and heart failure? Keep reading to find out.

What is heart disease?

Heart Disease - What Is The Difference Between Angina And A Heart Attack

Heart disease is a general term used to describe a variety of cardiovascular conditions. Cardiovascular disease refers to any condition that affects the heart or blood vessels and can include everything from coronary artery disease and angina to heart attacks and congenital heart defects. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and while some forms of heart disease can be prevented with lifestyle changes and medication, others cannot.

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease and occurs when the arteries that supply blood to the heart become narrow or blocked. This can cause angina or even a heart attack. Angina is caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to the heart and can feel like pressure or squeezing in the chest. A heart attack occurs when the blood flow to the heart is completely blocked and can be life-threatening.

There are many other types of heart diseases, including congenital heart defects (birth defects of the heart), arrhythmias (abnormal heartbeat), cardiomyopathies (diseases of the heart muscle), and valvular heart diseases (diseases of the valves). While some forms of heart disease can be prevented with lifestyle changes and medication, others cannot.

What is angina?

Angina is a symptom of heart disease that causes chest pain or discomfort. The pain is usually caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. Angina can be a sign of coronary artery disease, which is the most common type of heart disease.

Coronary artery disease happens when the blood supply to the heart muscle is cut off or slowed down. This can happen because of plaque buildup in the arteries. Plaque is composed of fat, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood.

Angina typically feels like a squeezing or tightness in the center of the chest that may spread to the shoulders, neck, or jaw. The pain often comes on with activity or emotional stress and goes away with rest or nitroglycerin medication.

People with coronary artery disease may experience angina at different levels of activity. For some people, walking up a flight of stairs can trigger angina pain, while others may only feel it when they are running or doing vigorous exercise.

What is a heart attack?

When most people think of a heart attack, they picture someone clutching their chest in pain and keeling over. While this can be the case, not all heart attacks look the same. In fact, some people may have a heart attack and not even know it. So, what is a heart attack?

A heart attack occurs when the blood supply to your heart muscle is blocked. This can happen if one of the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart becomes blocked or narrowed. When this happens, your heart muscle doesn’t get the oxygen-rich blood it needs, and it starts to die.

Symptoms of a heart attack can include:

• Chest pain or discomfort that may feel like pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain in the center of your chest

• Discomfort in other areas of your upper body such as your arms, back, neck, jaw, or stomach

• Shortness of breath

• Sweating

• Lightheadedness or dizziness

• Nausea or vomiting

Call 911 right away if you think you or someone else is having a heart attack.

Differences between angina and a heart attack

There are a few key differences between angina and a heart attack. Angina is typically caused by stress or exertion, while a heart attack is usually caused by a blockage in the arteries. Angina usually goes away with rest or medication, while a heart attack requires medical attention. Angina tends to be less severe than a heart attack, but both conditions can be serious. If you think you may be having either angina or a heart attack, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

Warning signs of a heart attack

-pain or discomfort in the chest that lasts more than a few minutes or that comes and goes
-pain that typically starts in the lower back and spreads to the shoulders, muscles in the neck, or arms
-lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea, or shortness of breath
-sudden or severe dizziness
-a racing heartbeat

When to see a doctor

It is important to know the difference between angina and a heart attack so that you can seek immediate medical attention when needed.

Angina is pain or discomfort in the chest caused by not getting enough oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. It might feel like your chest is being pressed or squeezed. You might also feel pain in your arms, shoulders, neck, jaw, or back. Angina is a sign that your heart isn’t getting enough blood (CAD).

A heart attack occurs when one of the arteries that supply blood to your heart becomes blocked and the supply of oxygen-rich blood to your heart is reduced or cut off entirely. This can cause damage to your heart muscle. A heart attack is a medical emergency. Call 911 right away if you think you might be having one.

Conclusion

There is a lot of confusion around the differences between angina and a heart attack, but it is important to know the distinction. Angina is pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when the heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. A heart attack, on the other hand, happens when a blood clot completely blocks a coronary artery, cutting off blood flow to your heart muscle. Both conditions can be serious, so if you experience any symptoms, it’s important to seek medical help right away.

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