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Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

What is Angina? And what is the cure?
Angina refers to the pain arising from lack of adequate blood supply to the heart muscle. Typically, it is a crushing pain behind the breastbone in the center of the chest, brought on by exertion and relieved by rest. It may at times radiate to or arise in the left arm, neck, jaw, left chest, or back. It is frequently accompanied by sweating, palpitations of the heart, and generally lasts a matter of minutes. Similar pain syndromes may be caused by other diseases, including esophagitis, gall bladder disease, ulcers, and others. Diagnosis of angina begins with the recognition of the consistent symptoms. Often an exercise test with radioactive thallium is performed if the diagnosis is in question, and sometimes even a cardiac catheterization is done if the outcome is felt necessary to make management decisions. This is a complex area which requires careful judgment by physician and patient. Angina is a manifestation of coronary artery disease, the same disease leading to heart attacks. Coronary artery diseas refers to those syndromes caused by blockage to the flow of blood in those arteries supplying the heart muscle itself, i.e., the coronary arteries. Like any other organ, the heart requires a steady flow of oxygen and nutrients to provide energy for rmovement, and to maintain the delicate balance of chemicals which allow for the careful electrical rhythm control of the heart beat. Unlike some other organs, the heart can survive only a matter of minutes without these nutrients, and the rest of the body can survive only minutes without the heart-thus the critical nature of these syndromes. Causes of blockage range from congenital tissue strands within or over the arteries to spasms of the muscular coat of the arteries themselves. By far the most common cause, however, is the deposition of plaques of cholesterol, platelets and other substances within the arterial walls. Sometimes the buildup is very gradual, but in other cases the buildup is suddenly increased as a chunk of matter breaks off and suddenly blocks the already narrowed opening. Certain factors seem to favor the buildup of these plaques. A strong family history of heart attacks is a definite risk factor, reflecting some metabolic derangement in either cholesterol handling or some other factor. Being male, for reasons probably related to the protective effects of some female hormones, is also a relative risk. Cigarette smoking and high blood pressure...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Science And Technology

Length:   4 pages (810 words)

Views:   1337

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