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Angina Pectoris
(CR002)

Introduction


Angina pectoris is not a disease, but rather a symptom of inadequate oxygen supply to the heart, which can result from a variety of conditions. Angina is defined as pain or pressure in the chest, beneath the breastbone, that occurs when the heart is not getting enough oxygen. Ranging in severity from mild to severe, the pain typically occurs with physical or emotional stress or extreme temperatures, and persists only a few minutes. It is often relieved by rest. Some types of angina occur at rest, however, such as Prinzmetal's or variant angina.

Angina results when blood flow to the heart muscle is inadequate (causing a condition known as ischemia) due to a number of conditions.

This ischemia causes damage to the tissue of the heart. If the artery becomes completely blocked, the damage can become severe enough that death of the heart tissue occurs. This tissue death is what is called a "heart attack" or myocardial infarction (MI). Angina is the "warning" that a person is at risk for a heart attack.

About 25% of all Americans have cardiovascular disease, and about 6,200,000 have angina. Coronary artery disease is the leading killer in American of both men and women, responsible for nearly 500,000 deaths every year. Fortunately, due to advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment, the statistics have improved greatly in recent decades.

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The Medifocus Guide on Angina provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:


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This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:


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