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Can Angina Kill You?

Written by: Jennifer

Angina is a frightening heart condition, and it is not uncommon to ask this vital question — can angina kill you? Unfortunately, angina is a symptom of coronary heart disease, and while it can’t kill you directly, it can be a symptom of heart trouble, and that can absolutely kill you. 

Here’s the good news — by being aware of the symptoms of angina and getting the proper health care, you can stave off its adverse effects, seek treatment, and live a happier, healthier life. 

What is Angina?

Angina is a frightening chest pain related to your heart health. It is a heavy pain that can feel like someone is sitting on your chest. It is caused by a reduction of blood flow to your heart muscle, making angina problematic. 

Risk factors for angina include older age, high blood pressure, alcohol use, bad eating, stress, smoking, and a lack of physical activity. 

What are the symptoms of Angina?

As noted by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology, there are many symptoms of angina.

These include

  • Muscle pain in your chest that feels like heavy pressure or someone sitting on it. It may also feel like a burning or a fullness in your chest. 
  • The feeling that a heavyweight is on your chest.
  • Pain or shortness of breath comes after a long period of exercise or exertion. 
  • Dizziness, fatigue, nausea, or sweating.
  • Symptoms can appear differently in men and women. Women are more likely to have other symptoms, such as nausea, jaw pain, shortness of breath, or stabbing pain in their chest. 

Keep in mind there are two different types of angina; stable and unstable. Stable angina is the kind of angina that comes during physical activity and occurs when engaged in exercise. It is something that people with angina often expect and can predict; and it usually goes away after a few minutes on its own. Unstable angina seems to come out of nowhere and can signify a more serious problem, like blood clots, a heart attack, or other heart rhythm problems.

Can Angina kill you? 

It’s important to remember what angina is — a type of pain that is caused by reduced blood flow. 

Angina is a frightening condition, one that can cause damage to the heart muscle, pain, anxiety, and a variety of other alarming symptoms. Stable angina is predictable, you likely know when it will occur, and it will usually go away on its own. Unstable angina — the kind that isn’t expected — can signify a heart attack or myocardial infarction. 

However, it’s not angina that kills you. Angina is a symptom of more severe problems. You should be asking this: Can a heart attack kill you? Can a mild heart attack kill you?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is yes. A heart attack can be life-threatening.

If you are wondering how a heart attack kills you, you aren’t alone. A heart attack kills you by stopping your heart from pumping. When your heart stops pumping, you no longer have adequate blood flow and oxygen to your body. This obviously causes you to stop breathing and ultimately die. There are many potential symptoms of a heart attack, including nausea, chest pain or pressure, and shortness of breath. If you believe you are suffering from a heart attack, call 911 and get to an emergency room right away. Quick treatment can save your life. 

How do you manage Angina? 

Thankfully, there are ample treatment options for angina. 

  • Medication, including over-the-counter medication or prescription drugs. This can include Aspirin, Beta Blockers, Statins, or Ranexa.
  • An angioplasty or replacement of an existing stent should help widen your heart arteries and lead to increased blood flow to your heart. 
  • Flow therapy. Flow therapy is a non-invasive treatment for angina. It involves cuffs placed around your body that are inflated and deflated to match your heart rate. These cuffs stimulate passive exercise, and studies have proven that it can help you manage symptoms from angina. 
  • Lifestyle changes are also critical to improving your angina symptoms and your overall heart health. You’ve probably already heard of these potential changes, including improved diet, more exercise, losing weight, and decreasing stress. Other lifestyle changes, like meditation or yoga, can also have a positive impact on your heart health. 

What you need to know

It’s totally normal to anxiously google things like, “can angina kill me?” or “can angina kill you in your sleep?” Angina is a terrifying condition, but you can take comfort in knowing that there are a variety of treatment options for angina.

Looking for more resources? Check out:

If you are looking for specific treatment options, Flow Therapy is a non-invasive treatment that has been used to help countless people who suffer from angina, long COVID, and other diseases. Check out our website, or call us today.


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