Cardiovascular Symptoms – Angina

Cardiovascular Symptoms – Angina

Article by R.D. Hawkins

Angina is perhaps the most common of all of the cardiovascular symptoms and affects about 7 million Americans. The cardiovascular symptoms of angina occur when the heart muscle experiences a shortage in blood flow and oxygen which can be brought about by physical activity with the oxygen supply being limited by narrowing of one or more of the coronary arteries. This condition is normally not experienced until an artery is a least 75 percent narrowed.


Angina is one of the complications of coronary heart disease (CHD) which was responsible for the deaths of 445,687 people in 2005, according to statistics released by the CDC. Coronary heart disease is best described as a narrowing of the coronary arteries that restrict blood flow to the heart.

The pain and discomfort in the chest area, which is the most common cardiovascular symptoms of angina can be triggered by moderate exercise activities such as walking or pool aerobics. The amount of physical activity needed to product pain and discomfort may be unpredictable, varying from day to day. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing chest pain during physical activity a certain pattern will likely start to emerge as to when and how severe the chest pain will be.

Additionally, attacks of angina are often more common in the early morning, during the winter months or cold weather days, after a meal, or when walking up an incline or into the wind. Actions involving the arms such as strenuous digging while working in the yard, shoveling snow, sweeping, vacuuming, and raking leaves may trigger the cardiovascular symptoms of angina. Sexual intercourse or constipation during a bowel movement also can be triggers. Losing one’s temper, fear, anxiety, and excitement are additional triggers that can produce symptoms or reduce the amount of exertion needed to induce an attack.

Cardiovascular symptoms of angina

The classic case of angina is a tightness of the chest, but it may also produce a heaviness, aching, burning, squeezing, tightness, or choking. Sharp chest pain is not a common symptom but can occur in rare cases. Angina is generally felt just below the breastbone (sternum), but it may also begin at, or gravitate to the left upper arm, forearm, and jaw. The intensity usually increases steadily eventually reaching a crescendo, plateaus, and slowly fades away with rest. The whole event may only last for a few minutes.

Cardiovascular symptoms of angina – The differences between men and women

Because angina presents itself so differently in men and women arriving at a definitive diagnosis can be challenging even for the best cardiologists. Possibly the most stark difference is that women may experience the condition while at rest. Additionally, they may feel angina as a pain in the jaw, or as heartburn. Other subtle symptoms common in women include breathlessness, fatigue, and stomach upset which can be easily overlooked and may develop slowly.

What symptoms would suggest the cardiovascular symptoms you are feeling are not angina?

There are a handful of these including pain brought about by breathing or coughing, relentless pain lasting for hours, quick sharp pain lasting for a few seconds or less, and pain the can be predictably induced by moving or pressing on the chest wall or arms.

About the Author

R.D. Hawkins is an enthusiastic advocate for the use of natural health and natural living with over 10 years experience in the field.To learn more about high cholesterol and triglycerides, along with safe and effective natural remedies for managing these dangerous blood fatsClick Here