Angina (sometimes called angina pectoris) is chest pain or discomfort that happens when your heart is not getting enough blood. It is a common symptom of coronary artery disease, which is caused when plaque builds up in the blood vessels. Some angina is caused by spasms of the muscles in the coronary vessels. Physical activity or anxiety can provoke angina and the symptoms are similar to those of a heart attack (myocardial infarction) – though milder, shorter lasting and not damaging to the heart muscle. While angina is a temporary condition, it is a warning sign of heart disease. Early treatment can limit the intensity and frequency of angina episodes and also reduce the risk of a heart attack.
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