Definition of Angina PectorisThe term Angina Pectoris, refers to chest pain caused by an imbalance between myocardial demand and coronary blood supply. The most common cause of angina pectoris is coronary artery atherosclerosis which reduces oxygen supply; however, excessive myocardial demand, e.g. caused by left ventricular hypertrophy in aortic stenosis and hypertension, can also lead to angina.

Pain is induced by exercise and relieved by rest, and may spread to the jaws and arms. It may be relieved by drugs such as glyceryl trinitrate and prevented by beta-blockers (e.g. Betaloc Zok, Concor Tablets). In severe cases, coronary angioplasty or coronary bypass grafts may be required.

Definition of Stable Angina

Chronic Stable Angina is a pain in the chest that includes one or more of the following;

  • Consistently reproducible by exercise or stress (reproducibility score at least 9 out of 10)
  • Occurs infrequently at rest (no more than 1 in 10 episodes of pain)
  • Duration of ≤5 minutes.

Another Simple Definition of Angina Pectoris

Angina Pectoris is defined by chest tightness occurring on exertion and at rest caused by myocardial ischemia, although it is recognized that similar symptoms occur in disorders of the esophagus, lung and chest wall.

Angina Pectoris Affects More Men than Women

The incidence increases with age and it affects men more commonly than women. There is also wide variability with geographical location, and across the socioeconomic divide. Although there has been a decline in death rates from coronary heart disease in recent years, there has not been a fall in the number of patients of angina pectoris in the over-65-year olds, recent data have shown a marked increase over the past 10 years. Reliable figures on the incidence of angina pectoris, however, are difficult to obtain since definitions vary. The prevalence is estimated at between 30,000 to 40,000 cases per million population, and the average annual incidence in the over-40s is approximately 0.5 per cent.

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