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Heart & Vascular Institute

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Conditions We Treat: Angina

Angina, also called angina pectoris, is a recurring discomfort or pain in the chest that occurs when an inadequate supply of blood reaches the heart muscle. Angina is not a heart attack, though the symptoms are similar. It is a warning sign of a more serious condition, usually coronary artery disease.

Angina: What You Need to Know

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  • Angina is often a sign of atherosclerosis, a condition where fatty plaque builds up inside the blood vessels.
  • Two rare forms of angina are more common in women: variant angina pectoris (Prinzmetal's angina or angina inversa), caused by spasms in the coronary artery, and microvascular angina (formerly called syndrome X), caused by spasms in smaller blood vessels serving the heart.
  • Treatments may include lifestyle changes and medication to widen the blood vessels or to reduce the heart’s demand for oxygen. Doctors will also treat any underlying conditions, such as atherosclerosis.

Angina currently affects more than 10 million Americans, with 350,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Although it most commonly affects males who are middle-aged or older, angina can occur in both sexes and all age groups.

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Why choose Johns Hopkins Heart and Vascular Institute for treatment of angina?

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Our Physicians

Our physicians work every day to advance the state of knowledge in cardiovascular medicine.

Meet our physicians

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Our Research

New screening techniques are helping doctors diagnose chest pain.

Learn more about this faster, minimally invasive technique.

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Our Specialty Centers

The Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease takes a multidisciplinary approach to helping you prevent heart disease and stroke—and that includes getting your cholesterol in check.

Learn more about the Ciccarone Center..