Angina is the term for chest pain. The pain is often described as a squeezing, suffocating or burning feeling.

What is angina?

Angina is the term for chest pain caused by reduced blood flow to the heart muscle. The pain is often described as a squeezing, suffocating or burning feeling.

What are the symptoms of angina?

Common symptoms of angina include:

  • Chest pain, pressure or a strange feeling in the chest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Light-headedness or dizziness
  • Sudden weakness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat

See your doctor if you notice one or more of these symptoms. Angina is usually a symptom of heart disease and means you are at risk of having a heart attack.

Women may experience different symptoms than men. Learn more about the symptoms of angina.

What are the causes of angina?

Angina happens when there is not enough blood flow to your heart. Without enough blood, the heart doesn’t get enough oxygen. This triggers the chest pain. Learn more about the causes of angina.

What are the types of angina?

Stable angina can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. It is a predictable pattern of chest pain and often trigged by physical activity, stress, heavy meals or extreme weather conditions.

Unstable angina is unexpected, dangerous and requires emergency treatment. It is a change to your usual pattern of stable angina and can lead to a heart attack.

Learn more about the types of angina.

How is angina diagnosed?

Your doctor will review your medical history and may order the following tests:

What treatment is available for angina?

Your doctor may treat your condition with a combination of medication and lifestyle changes.

Surgery options include percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) and coronary artery bypass surgery.


The following resources have information about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for angina: