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Angina (say "ANN-juh-nuh" or "ann-JY-nuh") is a symptom of coronary artery disease, or heart disease. For most people, it feels like chest pain or pressure. But people can feel angina in different ways.
Angina can feel like:
Pain, pressure, or a strange feeling in the back, neck, jaw, or upper belly or in one or both shoulders or arms.
Shortness of breath.
Nausea or vomiting.
Lightheadedness or sudden weakness.
A fast or irregular heartbeat.
Women are somewhat more likely than men to have angina symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, and back or jaw pain. Some women describe their symptoms as mild. Others feel tired when they have angina.
How people describe angina
Some people describe their angina as pressure, heaviness, weight, tightness, squeezing, discomfort, burning, or dull aching in the chest. People often put a fist to the chest when describing their pain. Some people may feel tingling or numbness in the arm, hand, or jaw when they have angina.
It might be hard for you to point to the exact location of your pain. Pressing on the chest wall does not cause the pain.
Your symptoms might start at a low level and then increase over several minutes to reach a peak. Angina that starts with an activity usually will decrease when the activity is stopped. Chest pain that starts suddenly or lasts only a few seconds is less likely to be angina.
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