5 Differences Between Angina Attacks and Heart Attacks

Any sudden or long-lasting chest pain is a reason for concern. Many heart diseases and conditions can go unnoticed until pain strikes, indicating a serious problem. While chest pain often accompanies heart attacks, there are other conditions which can cause similar discomfort. Angina, a common health issue caused by decreased blood flow to the heart, can present many of the same symptoms as a heart attack but does not require immediate emergency medical treatment as heart attacks do. For that reason, many people dismiss chest pain as angina only to discover later it was an undiagnosed heart attack. Understanding the differences between the two, however, could save one’s life in the event one experiences sudden chest pain.

5. Angina Usually Strikes During Exertion

Angina Pectoris diagnosis on blue folder with stethoscope© Vchalup | Dreamstime Stock Photos

A heart attack can strike at any moment, even in individuals who are otherwise generally healthy. If chest pain strikes while you are resting or not engaged in any physical activity and lasts for a significant amount of time, it could indicate the pain is due to a heart attack. Angina pain, on the other hand, usually only occurs when individuals are engaged in physical exercise or strenuous activity and lasts for five minutes on average.