The term angina refers to the chest pain or feeling of discomfort which, in most cases, is caused by coronary heart disease. It happens when the flow of blood to the heart muscle is restricted and is often brought on by physical exertion or stress, when the heart is working harder and needs more oxygen.

There are 2 main types of angina:

  • stable angina is when episodes have a trigger and stop within a few minutes of resting
  • unstable angina is when episodes are more unpredictable and continue despite resting


If the pain lasts longer than 10 minutes or is more severe than usual, this may represent a heart attack. Immediate medical care is needed and an ambulance should be called.

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