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Symptoms of Angina

Symptoms of Angina: Introduction

Chest pain is a hallmark symptom of angina. The chest pain of angina can vary in intensity from mild to severe and can be similar in to the chest pain of a heart attack. However, there generally is a key difference. The chest pain of angina is often different from the chest pain of a heart attack in that angina generally occurs with activity or exertion and goes away with rest and/or medication, such as nitroglycerin. In contrast, the chest pain of a heart attack frequently does not go away with rest or after taking nitroglycerin.

The chest pain of angina generally occurs in the center of the chest and may be experienced in a number of ways, including a pressure, pain, or squeezing sensation. These sensations may radiate to the shoulders and down the arms, especially on the left side. There may also be pain in the throat, jaw and in the back.

Symptoms that accompany the chest pain of angina can vary between individuals. They can include dizziness, sweating, and shortness of breath.

Having angina due to atherosclerosis increases the risk of developing serious complications and diseases, such as heart attack, cardiac arrhythmias, heart failure, cardiac arrest, and death....more about Angina »

Symptoms of Angina

The list of signs and symptoms mentioned in various sources for Angina includes the 13 symptoms listed below:

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Angina: Symptom Checkers

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Angina: Symptom Assessment Questionnaires

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Angina: Complications

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Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic testing of medical conditions related to Angina:

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Do I have Angina?

Angina: Medical Mistakes

Angina: Undiagnosed Conditions

Diseases that may be commonly undiagnosed in related medical areas:

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical tests related to Angina:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Angina?

The list of other diseases or medical conditions that may be on the differential diagnosis list of alternative diagnoses for Angina includes:

Angina: Research Doctors & Specialists

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Other Possible Causes of these Symptoms

Click on any of the symptoms below to see a full list of other causes including diseases, medical conditions, toxins, drug interactions, or drug side effect causes of that symptom.

Article Excerpts About Symptoms of Angina:

Facts About Heart Disease and Women: NHLBI (Excerpt)

The first symptom of coronary heart disease may be chest (Source: excerpt from Facts About Heart Disease and Women: NHLBI)

Facts About Heart Disease and Women: NHLBI (Excerpt)

A reduced blood flow to the heart can cause symptoms other (Source: excerpt from Facts About Heart Disease and Women: NHLBI)

Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI (Excerpt)

An episode of angina is NOT a heart attack. However, people with angina report having a hard time telling the difference between angina symptoms and heart attack symptoms. Angina is a recurring pain or discomfort in the chest that happens when some part of the heart does not receive enough blood temporarily. A person may notice it during exertion (such as in climbing stairs). It is usually relieved within a few minutes by resting or by taking prescribed angina medicine. People who have been diagnosed with angina have a greater risk of a heart attack than do other people. (Source: excerpt from Frequently Asked Questions About Heart Attack: NHLBI)


Angina feels like a pressing or squeezing pain, usually in the chest under the breast bone, but sometimes in the shoulders, arms, neck, jaws, or back. Angina is usually precipitated by exertion. It is usually relieved within a few minutes by resting or by taking prescribed angina medicine. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)


When someone has a repeating but stable pattern of angina, an episode of angina does not mean that a heart attack is about to happen. Angina means that there is underlying coronary heart disease. Patients with angina are at an increased risk of heart attack compared with those who have no symptoms of cardiovascular disease, but the episode of angina is not a signal that a heart attack is about to happen. In contrast, when the pattern of angina changes--if episodes become more frequent, last longer, or occur without exercise--the risk of heart attack in subsequent days or weeks is much higher. (Source: excerpt from NHLBI, ANGINA: NHLBI)

Angina: NWHIC (Excerpt)

People with angina usually feel discomfort (often a pressure-like pain) in or around the chest, shoulders, jaw, neck, back or arms. It may feel like a squeezing, pressing sensation in the chest. Angina pain is usually caused and made worse by exercise and eased by rest. The pain usually lasts 2-5 minutes. If you have this kind of chest pain, you should contact your health care provider. You can take medicine that will help your angina. If you suspect you might be having a heart attack (see warning signs below), call or have someone else call 9-1-1. (Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)

Angina: NWHIC (Excerpt)

Here are some signs that your angina is very serious and you may be having a heart attack. If you have any of these signs, call 9-1-1 immediately:

  • Pain or discomfort that is very bad, gets worse, and lasts longer than 20 minutes.

  • Pain or discomfort along with weakness, feeling sick to your stomach, sweating, or fainting.

  • Pain or discomfort that does not go away when you take angina medicine.

  • Pain or discomfort that is worse than you have ever had before.

(Source: excerpt from Angina: NWHIC)

Angina as a symptom:

For a more detailed analysis of Angina as a symptom, including causes, drug side effect causes, and drug interaction causes, please see our Symptom Center information for Angina.

Medical articles and books on symptoms:

These general reference articles may be of interest in relation to medical signs and symptoms of disease in general:

About signs and symptoms of Angina:

The symptom information on this page attempts to provide a list of some possible signs and symptoms of Angina. This signs and symptoms information for Angina has been gathered from various sources, may not be fully accurate, and may not be the full list of Angina signs or Angina symptoms. Furthermore, signs and symptoms of Angina may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Angina symptoms.


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