What Is The Difference Between Angina, Heart Attack, And Stroke?

Dr. Khandheria answers the question: 'Angina, Heart Attack Versus Stroke?'

— -- Question: What is the difference between angina, heart attack, and stroke?

Answer: Angina and heart attack are two manifestations in the continuum of the same disease. Angina is a situation where there is a demand-supply imbalance, and the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen, is not getting enough fresh blood. And so the heart muscle is crying out for help, and sometimes it presents as chest pain, sometimes it presents as jaw pain. When the heart muscle continues to be deprived of oxygen and fresh blood, that muscle ends up dying, and when that muscle dies, we call it a heart attack.

An example would be if you're into fishing, or you have seen people fish. When you catch a fish, and you take the fish out of the water, the fish is struggling, and there are two things you can do. One is you can put the fish back in water. If you put the fish back in water, the fish survives -- that is angina. So if we give medications or we restore blood supply, the heart muscle survives. If you take the fish out while it's struggling, and you put it in your basket, the fish dies, and that is then heart attack.

Stroke is completely different. Stroke has nothing to do, or has very little to do, with the heart. It is more of a deprivation of blood supply to the brain, and brain cells then either die, or they struggle, and that results in a stroke.

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