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Unstable angina happens when blood flow to the heart is suddenly slowed by narrowed coronary arteries. Or small blood clots form in the coronary arteries and slow blood flow. Typically, there is no damage to the heart muscle. It often happens when you are at rest.

You may have had stable angina You knew when to expect your symptoms, such as when you exercised. Stable angina usually goes away when you rest or take your angina medicine. But the symptoms of unstable angina may not go away with rest or medicine. It may get worse or happen at times that it didn’t before. Unstable angina symptoms may mean that you are having a heart attack.

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A heart attack means

heart attack means a coronary artery has been blocked and the heart has been damaged. Without blood flow and oxygen, part of the heart starts to die.



The term ‘acute coronary syndrome’ covers a range of disorders, including a heart attack (myocardial infarction) and unstable angina, that are caused by the same underlying problem.
The underlying problem is a sudden reduction of blood flow to part of the heart muscle. This is usually caused by a blood clot that forms on a patch of atheroma within a coronary artery.

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The types of problems range from unstable angina to an actual myocardial infarction. In unstable angina a blood clot causes reduced blood flow but not a total blockage.

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Therefore, the heart muscle supplied by the affected artery does not die (infarct). The location of the blockage, the length of time that blood flow is blocked and the amount of damage that occurs determine the type of ACS.



Heart Attack Signs in Women

Uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain in the center of your chest. It lasts more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back.

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Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.

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Other signs such as breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somehow more likely than men to experience these common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Even though heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, women often chalk up the symptoms to less life-threatening conditions like acid reflux, the flu or normal aging. Heart disease is the world’s biggest killers, accounting for a combined 15 million deaths in 2015. These diseases have remained the leading causes of death globally in the last 15 years.

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Angina in Women Can Be Different Than Men

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Angina (chest pain) is a warning sign of heart disease, and recognizing it and getting treated early may prevent a heart attack. Fatty build-up in your coronary arteries, called plaque, prevents blood flow that’s needed to provide oxygen to your heart muscle.

Women more frequently develop heart disease within the very small arteries that branch out from the coronary arteries – microvascular disease (MVD) and occurs particularly in younger women.

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On the other hand, Heart disease in men usually is due to blockages in their coronary arteries – obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD). Up to 50 percent of women with anginal symptoms who undergo cardiac catheterization don’t have the obstructive type of CAD.

You may have tightness, pressure or discomfort in your chest during physical activity or when stressed. But it goes away shortly after you stop the activity or get rid of the stress.

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Angina symptoms in women can also include feeling out of breath, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain or sharp chest pain.  Once the extra demand for blood and oxygen stops, so do the symptoms.



Systolic dysfunction (or systolic heart failure) occurs when the heart muscle doesn’t contract with enough force, so there is less oxygen-rich blood that is pumped throughout the body.

Diastolic dysfunction (or diastolic heart failure) occurs when the heart contracts normally, but the ventricles do not relax properly or are stiff, and less blood enters the heart during normal filling.

A calculation done during an echocardiogram, called the ejection fraction (EF), is used to measure how well your heart pumps with each beat to help determine if systolic or diastolic dysfunction is present. Your doctor can discuss which condition you have.

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Diastole (relaxation)

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Heart failure is caused by many conditions that damage the heart muscle, including:

Coronary artery disease. Coronary artery disease (CAD), a disease of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart, causes decreased blood flow to the heart muscle. If the arteries become blocked or severely narrowed, the heart becomes starved for oxygen and nutrients.

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Heart Attack

heart attack occurs when a coronary artery becomes suddenly blocked, stopping the flow of blood to the heart muscle. A heart attack damages the heart muscle, resulting in a scarred area that does not function properly.

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Cardiomyopathy

Damage to the heart muscle from causes other than artery or blood flow problems, such as from infections or alcohol or drug abuse.

Conditions that overwork the heart. Conditions including high blood pressurevalve diseasethyroid disease, kidney diseasediabetes, or heart defects present at birth can all cause heart failure. In addition, heart failure can occur when several diseases or conditions are present at once.

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