Angina Stages

Angina refers to a type of chest pain or discomfort associated with various heart conditions. It is a symptom rather than a disease. According to the, angina may present as a result of decreased flow of oxygen-rich blood to the heart muscle. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute reports millions of people each year suffer from angina, making recognition of the stages of this symptom significant for obtaining immediate medical care.

Stable Angina indicates the most common form of angina, referred to as stable angina, typically occurs from over-exertion and subsides with rest. Pressure in the chest or mild discomfort accompany this stage however, the discomfort is short-lived. Chronic stable angina follows a pattern and represents a potential cause for concern according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, due to manifesting as an early sign of coronary artery disease. Medical evaluation may offer further insight if for users who experience chronic stable angina.

Unstable Angina

Unstable angina may occur after exertion or while at rest and does not follow a pattern. The National Library of Medicine indicates this stage of angina likely signals that a heart attack may happen soon. Unstable angina happens unexpectedly and lasts longer than stable angina, often up to 30 minutes. The pain associated with this stage does not subside with medication and rest. Unstable angina requires immediate medical attention.

Variant Angina

Variant angina occurs in a resting state and is typically rare. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute refers to this stage as painful and severe, typically presenting during late night or sleeping hours. Resting angina may occur as a result of plaque buildup in the arteries causing a coronary spasm. People with high cholesterol or high blood pressure may have a higher risk of experiencing this stage of angina. Medication treatment offers relief for variant angina.

Microvascular Angina

The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute recognizes an additional stage called microvascular angina. Chest pain commonly occurs with this form of angina however, it is not associated with arterial blockage. Microvascular angina may present as more severe and lasting longer than the other forms of angina, with little relief provided by medication.

About this Author

Aureau Walding has been a contributing writer for online journals about health and mental-health topics since 2005. Walding has published health and fitness articles for LIVESTRONG.COM since 2010. She received her master\’s degree in clinical social work and a Ph.D. in health psychology from the University of Missouri Kansas City.