angina pectoris

angina pectoris

Spasm of chest pain, caused when the heart's oxygen demand temporarily outpaces its blood supply, usually because of coronary heart disease. A deep, viselike pain in the heart and stomach area commonly spreads to the left arm. Exertion or emotional stress can bring on angina, obliging the victim to rest until the pain subsides. If rest does not help, drugs can dilate the blood vessels. As heart disease worsens, angina recurs with less exertion.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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