Angina vs Heart Attack


There are different types of angina namely
unstable, stable, microvascular and Prinzmetal’s

Angina happens when there is obstruction of
blood flow to the heart, due to a narrowing of
the arteries and is a symptom of heart disease.
Narrowing of the artery can be caused by
plaque build-up or a weakness in the artery wall.
This results in decreased oxygen-rich blood flow
to the heart and the patient will suffer from pain,
a pressure or squeezing in the chest that could
feel like a heart attack. Other symptoms include
a burning sensation or fullness in the chest,
sweating, shortness of breath, sweating, fatigue
and nausea or diarrhea.
If not treated, angina could lead to a heart
attack. Stable angina is easier to treat and
usually not life threatening when maintained.
Unstable angina is the most worrying as it
happens without warning and can result in heart
attack if not treated immediately.
Medicines like nitrate or calcium blockers, beta
blockers, blood thinners or statins to lower
cholesterol. A healthy diet and exercise is
advised to make necessary lifestyle changes.

Surgery is advised where the arteries are weak.
The surgeon may insert a stint to this portion of
the damaged artery to keep it open.

Heart Attack

A heart attack is caused by the blockage of
one or more arteries that brings blood flow to
the heart. The blockages form from a buildup of plague like calcium and fatty deposits
like cholesterol that completely blocks the
lumen of the artery.
Arteriosclerosis, hardening and thickening of the
walls of the arteries that leads to the heart can also
lead to such blockages.
Stress and an unhealthy lifestyle could also lead to
a heart attack. Stress raises cortisol and adrenaline
levels which are linked to the formation of blood
clots and high cholesterol.
During a heart attack tissues die due to a lack of
nutrient and oxygen rich blood flow to the heart.
There are usually “silent signs” that a heart attack is
coming and these include:

  1. Pain in the chest, left arm and even stomach
    (more common in women)
  2. Difficulty breathing and coughing
  3. Cold sweats
  4. Nausea

It is possible to stop a heart attack by chewing
aspirin or clot-busting medicine, CPR aids to keep the heart going or balloon angioplasty may be inserted as a form of surgery to treat and prevent heart attacks.