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LOVE YOUR HEART: ANGINA PECTORIS

Angina is a direct consequence of atherosclerosis (hardening) of the coronary arteries. Atherosclerosis is a slowly developing process in which cholesterol and other fatty substances are deposited in the wall of the arteries, somewhat like scale forming on the inside of a pipe. Atherosclerosis is a normal ageing process (like the whitening of hair) and occurs in everybody to some extent with growing age. However, in some people, this process is more pronounced and the inside of the artery gets narrowed, impeding normal blood flow. This is the stage when one may experience warning symptoms in the form of chest pains (angina pectoris).

WHAT IS ANGINA PECTORIS?

Angina is the heart muscle's complaint that it is not getting enough oxygen. Angina literally means 'choking'. Angina pectoris is the term used to denote the suffocating discomfort in the chest owing to the heart receiving less oxygen due to a narrowed coronary artery.

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