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Coronary heart disease: stable angina 

Coronary heart disease: stable angina
Coronary heart disease: stable angina
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date: 25 January 2021

CHD remains one of the largest causes of premature death in the UK. Angina is the most common symptom of CHD. It is usually described as a central, retrosternal pain or ache that is crushing or choking in nature. Pain may radiate down the left arm and/or up into the neck and is often accompanied by shortness of breath and sweating. Some patients may describe it as chest discomfort. The presentation of CHD, however, covers a broad spectrum of clinical signs and symptoms that vary in severity. An individual may be asymptomatic despite disease within the coronary arteries; may present with gradually worsening symptoms of angina; or the first presentation may be death following an acute MI. The progress of the disease is variable, depending on the individual’s risk factors and the coronary arteries affected. Terminology varies but, generally speaking, CHD is divided into two subtypes: stable angina—with reversible ischaemia, and acute coronary syndromes—which is an umbrella term that includes unstable angina and MI. This chapter outlines the pathophysiology and clinical management of stable angina.

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