Often confused for the other, angina and heart attacks can and do produce very similar symptoms.
A common symptom of heart disease, angina happens when cardiovascular blockages advance enough to reduce oxygen flow to the heart. This usually results in jaw or chest pain, which can seem like heart attack symptoms. After a while, heart tissue may begin to die off due to low oxygen supply. When this occurs, a heart attack becomes likely. There are two types of angina, stable and unstable.*Characteristics of stable angina (most common)
*Characteristics of unstable angina (a medical emergency)
Although angina sensations may seem like an actual heart attack, there are usually subtle differences. A side-by-side comparison can shed light on these variances.Common Angina Symptoms
The severity, duration and type of angina can vary. It's important to recognize if you have new or changing chest discomfort. New or different symptoms may signal a more dangerous form of angina (unstable angina) or a heart attack.
Sometimes angina and heart attacks can manifest in different ways. Women in particular often experience confusing and uncommon sensations during an event, because they tend to develop heart disease in the small arteries that branch outward from the coronary arteries. These symptoms may include fatigue, confusion, vomiting, jaw pain and vague chest discomfort. When women experience any type of vague symptom that might be related to a cardiac event, it's critical that they seek medical care as soon as possible.
Whenever you have sensations that might point toward a heart attack or angina, you should immediately seek emergency care. If you do have angina, your doctor can recommend a specialist who can design a treatment strategy to improve your overall health and manage your risk.