3 doctors weighed in:

A heart attack or angina? What are the differences in symptoms between a heart attack and angina?

3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Angina

Angina and heart attack symptoms are both the result of reduced blood flow to heart muscle.
Both can result in chest pain, pressure or squeezing that can radiate into the neck, jaw or arm and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, or nausea. There are important differences though. Angina is brought on by exertion and relieved by rest or certain medications, such as nitroglycerin. It is the result of chronic cholesterol buildup in one or more of the coronary arteries, which restricts adequate blood flow to heart muscle during periods of increased activity. Angina usually resolves within 15 minutes of stopping activity or taking nitroglycerin. When someone experiences angina for the first time, or when their angina is provoked more easily this is called unstable angina and requires immediate medical attention. As opposed to angina, heart attacks happen suddenly and the symptoms can be more severe and persist much longer. Heart attacks are a result of a sudden blockage of the coronary blood vessel, typically by a ruptured cholesterol plaque. Heart attack symptoms persist until the blockage resolves, or if it does not resolve, until the heart muscle dies. Not all patients with heart attacks have angina prior. Heart attacks are a medical emergency and always require immediate medical attention.

In brief: Angina

Angina and heart attack symptoms are both the result of reduced blood flow to heart muscle.
Both can result in chest pain, pressure or squeezing that can radiate into the neck, jaw or arm and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as sweating, dizziness, or nausea. There are important differences though. Angina is brought on by exertion and relieved by rest or certain medications, such as nitroglycerin. It is the result of chronic cholesterol buildup in one or more of the coronary arteries, which restricts adequate blood flow to heart muscle during periods of increased activity. Angina usually resolves within 15 minutes of stopping activity or taking nitroglycerin. When someone experiences angina for the first time, or when their angina is provoked more easily this is called unstable angina and requires immediate medical attention. As opposed to angina, heart attacks happen suddenly and the symptoms can be more severe and persist much longer. Heart attacks are a result of a sudden blockage of the coronary blood vessel, typically by a ruptured cholesterol plaque. Heart attack symptoms persist until the blockage resolves, or if it does not resolve, until the heart muscle dies. Not all patients with heart attacks have angina prior. Heart attacks are a medical emergency and always require immediate medical attention.
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
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Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
Internal Medicine - Pulmonary Critical Care

In brief: Often asked

Angina is low oxygen for the heart heart attack is low oxygen with damage to the heart.

In brief: Often asked

Angina is low oxygen for the heart heart attack is low oxygen with damage to the heart.
Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
Dr. Klaus d Lessnau
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