Angina pectoris

Angina is a pain or discomfort in the chest caused by ischemia or a lack of proper blood supply to the heart muscle. It is a symptom of coronary artery disease. It is a fairly common ailment, but if left untreated, it can lead to a myocardial infarction.

The most common cause is the reduction of blood flow to the heart muscle, therefore, it does not receive enough oxygen supply (ischemia). This usually happens due to the presence of atheroma plaques or atherosclerosis inside the arteries, making them narrower.

The following risk factors related to angina pectoris have been identified:

  • Age, as it is more common after the age of 60.
  • Family and personal history of coronary disease.
  • Smoking, which can weaken the arterial walls.
  • Diabetes, a disease that can accelerate atherosclerosis if not properly controlled.
  • Hypertension, which can damage arteries over time.
  • Elevated levels of cholesterol or triglycerides.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Obesity and overweight.
  • Certain medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease, peripheral artery disease, or metabolic syndrome.
  • Stress.

Symptoms

The symptoms of angina pectoris can vary depending on the type. Among them are stable angina, which is the most common type where symptoms appear during physical activity; unstable angina, which occurs at rest and is a medical emergency; variant angina caused by spasms of the coronary arteries; and refractory angina with recurrent symptomatic episodes.

The main symptom of angina pectoris is pain or discomfort in the chest area, but it can also cause the following symptoms:

  • Burning sensation
  • Pressure or squeezing pain in the arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, and/or back
  • Dizziness and fatigue
  • Nausea and abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating

Prevention

The main cause of angina pectoris is the presence of atheroma plaques in the walls of blood vessels, so the best way to prevent it is to reduce the factors that promote its appearance. These include:

  • Avoiding tobacco
  • Maintaining a healthy diet
  • Engaging in regular physical exercise
  • Losing weight if necessary
  • Properly controlling other conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, or hyperlipidemias
  • Reducing stress

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

44 loci

Genes analyzed

ABHD2 APOE AS3MT BRINP1 CDH13 CDKN2B CFDP1 CHRNB4 COL4A1 CTAGE1 DDI1 EDNRA EGFL8 ERP29 FES FGF5 FIGN GUCY1B1 HIC1 KCNE2 KCNK7 LDLR LOXL1 LPA LPL MIA3 NGF NR2C1 OAZ3 PHACTR1 PHOSPHO1 PIK3CG PLPP3 PSRC1 SIRT3 TCF21 TDRD10 TMEM91 TTC32 TWIST1 TXNL4B UNC5C WDR12 ZNF32

Bibliography

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