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Angina is a heavy, tight squeezing pain in the chest caused by insufficient oxygen supply to the heart (low blood flow to the heart). It generally occurs when the heart is working hard and requires more oxygen: during exercise, at times of stress, in extremes of temperature, soon after a meal. Typically the pain develops at the same point in daily activity: on stairs climbing to the office, at a certain point in the daily walk, etc.

The pain often radiates through the left shoulder, arm, or jaw and can last for up to 20 minutes. For some the pain might be intense, while others may feel only a mild discomfort--sometimes thinking they are only experiencing indigestion. Some individuals have no symptoms at all--"A Silent Heart Attack."

Other symptoms include sweating, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, shortness of breath, ringing in the ears, loss of speech, dizziness, fainting. Irregardless of the level of discomfort, any angina is a gravely dangerous situation because it is often the precursor sign of a full heart attack (complete cut off of blood to the heart).

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