Heart attacks and strokes are the most serious complications of angina.
The stress of living with a long-term condition can also have an impact on your emotional health.
Most cases of angina are caused by fatty deposits (plaques) building up on the inside walls of the blood vessels leading to the heart.
There's a small chance one of the plaques will break away, causing a blood clot to form. The blood clot can then block the supply of oxygen-rich blood to the muscles of the heart, causing extensive damage to the heart muscles and triggering a Myocardial infarction .
The risk of having a heart attack depends on a number of things, such as age, blood pressure and the extent of the blockage.
Depending on these factors, the risk of having a heart attack in any given year can range from less than 1 in 100 to 1 in 12. It's always possible to lower this risk by making lifestyle changes (see preventing angina for more information).
Symptoms of a heart attack include:
You should dial 999 immediately if you suspect a heart attack.
Heart attacksare treated using a combination of medication to improve the blood flow to the heart and surgery to bypass the blockage (coronary artery bypass graft ) or widen the artery (percutaneous coronary intervention).
If you have fatty plaques clogging up the arteries to your heart, you may also have plaques clogging up the main blood vessel that supplies your brain with blood (the carotid artery).
If one of the plaques ruptures, it could cause a blood clot to develop, blocking the supply of blood to your brain and triggering a stroke .
As with a heart attack, you can reduce your risk of having a stroke by making lifestyle changes.
The main symptoms of a stroke can be remembered using the word FAST, which stands for Face-Arms-Speech-Time.
Astroke can be treated using medication to dissolve the blood clot, and surgery to unblock the carotid artery.
Living with a condition such as angina can cause feelings of stress andanxiety in some people, which can lead to symptoms of depression . You may be feeling depressed if, during the last month:
It's importantto speak to your GP if you think you're depressed. Depression doesn't only affect your mental health, it can also have an adverse affect on your physical health as well.
Treatments fordepression include antidepressant medications and a type of talking therapy called cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) .
Angina is chest pain that occurs when the blood supply to the muscles of the heart is restricted. It usually happens because the arteries supplying the heart become hardened and narrowed.
The most common symptom of angina is a feeling of pain or discomfort in your chest. The pain can feel tight, dull or heavy.
Angina is caused by narrowing and hardening of the main blood vessels going to the heart, which limits blood supply to this major organ.
If you see your GP after experiencing chest pain, they'll probably ask about the pattern of your symptoms for example, if you've noticed any particular triggers.
Treatment of angina aims to provide immediate relief from the symptoms, prevent future attacks, and reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Heart attacks and strokes are the most serious complications of angina. The stress of living with a long-term condition can also have an impact on your emotional health.