October 01, 2021

Stable angina

Living better, preventing heart attack

Stable angina produces symptoms such as sensation of squeezing or pressure in the chest in a predictable way, such as occurring a few minutes after starting a walk. This makes it hard to do activities you enjoy, but there are effective ways to improve symptoms — and to reduce your risk of future heart attack.

Stable angina

When blood flow to the heart is reduced in a relatively consistent and predictable way, chest discomfort called stable angina can occur.

Angina (an-JIE-nuh or AN-juh-nuh) is a general term used to describe a sensation of squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness or discomfort in the chest. It may feel like a vise is squeezing your upper body or a heavy weight is lying on your chest. Some people with severe angina also feel dizzy, fatigued, nauseated, short of breath and sweaty. These less typical signs and symptoms are more common in people who have diabetes.

Stable angina symptoms can make it difficult to do the activities you enjoy. However, there are effective ways to manage and improve symptoms while lowering your risk of complications.

Stable angina at rest

At rest — With stable angina, a fairly contained, artery-narrowing deposit (plaque) still allows for adequate blood flow to the heart muscle with low oxygen demand.

 

Inside angina

Your blood carries oxygen and nutrients that are vital to proper function and survival of heart muscle. Your coronary arteries supply this blood to the heart muscle. But with coronary artery disease, the coronary arteries become clogged with fatty deposits (plaques), leaving the arteries narrowed and unable to handle the necessary flow of oxygenated blood.

Stable angina generally occurs in a predictable way. When your body doesn't need as much oxygen — when you're resting,...