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Glossary of Terms

Angina / Angina Pectoris

The pain, discomfort, or symptoms associated with the heart muscle not getting enough blood and oxygen. Angina is not typically a sharp pain like that associated with, for example, hitting your thumb, but more of a pressure-like sensation. The classic description of angina is when the patient experiences pressure, usually on the front of the chest just underneath the breast bone, or to the left of the breast bone. The discomfort can travel to the neck or down the arm. Sometimes the patient will describe some numbness of the arm. The pain is usually brought on by some kind of stress or exercise and often dissipates with rest. Angina, however, can also be confused with indigestion, gallbladder symptoms, or in some cases, flu-like symptoms. Angina is not the same as having a heart attack but can be a waring sign of a potential heart attack.

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