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 critical 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 a heart attack. Dive in and discover the differences between angina pain and a heart attack, and the warning signs that all patients should be aware of.
The Causes Of A Heart Attack Versus Angina Pain
Angina is usually related to heart disease and occurs when plaque, a fatty substance, builds up within the arteries, blocking blood flow to the heart muscle, resulting in the heart working harder and with less oxygen. This is what causes the chest pain many individuals feel when living with angina. Blood clots in the arteries of the heart can also cause angina, however, blood clots in the heart usually lead to a heart attack. Other causes of angina and chest pain include a pulmonary embolism, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic stenosis, pericarditis, and aortic dissection.
A heart attack occurs when one or more of the coronary arteries become blocked, usually from plaque. A coronary artery can narrow from the buildup of multiple substances, including cholesterol, which results in coronary artery disease, which is the most common cause of a heart attack.
Next, discover one of the common differences between angina and heart attacks.