Pain in the centre of the chest. Usually, exercise
– sometimes acute anxiety – brings it on and pain may be severe and felt also in the arms and the jaw. The condition, which is aggravated by cold weather, is the result of the heart’s demand for blood being greater than that which the coronary arteries can provide. This failure is most often due to narrowing of the coronary arteries by ATHEROMA; rarely, it may be caused by congenital defects in the arteries rendering them incapable of carrying suﬃcient blood to meet increased demands from the body.
Angina may be relieved or prevented by such drugs as glyceryl trinitrate and propranolol. If
drug treatment does not work, surgery on the coronary arteries such as angioplasty or bypass grafts may be necessary. People who suﬀer from angina pectoris need advice on their lifestyle, and in particular on diet, exercise and avoidance of smoking or excessive alcohol consumption. They may have high blood pressure, which will also require medical treatment (see HEART, DISEASES OF; HYPERTENSION).