Does Angina Always Lead To Heart Attack, And If Not, Why Not?

Question: Does Angina Always Lead To Heart Attack, And If Not, Why Not?

Answer: Angina by definition is a discomfort or a pain that's caused by inadequate blood flow to the heart muscle, usually caused by a blockage or narrowing. Heart attack by definition means that the interruption of the blood flow occured long enough and severely enough that there's actual damage to the heart muscle that's detectable.

So although some angina episodes will lead to a heart attack, many angina episodes can actually occur without any damage to the heart muscle. However, recognizing angina is critically important because it is a warning sign. That is, people with angina are at much higher risk for heart attack. If you're having angina it needs to be evaluated and diagnosed so that proper treatment can be given.

Next: What Other Symptoms Besides Angina Can Signal A Heart Attack?

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