Cardiologist Questions Cardiologist

Can you die from angina?

I am a 40 year old male and I have angina. I am worried. Can you die from angina?

3 Answers

Angina can indicate that you are at risk of having a heart attack which could be fatal. So you need to find out exactly what is causing the angina and whether it is dangerous. Stay worried until you know what te problem is (and don't smoke even half a cigarette).
It is definitely unusual to die from angina. Angina is a symptom of chest discomfort or shortness of breath related to lack of blood flow to the heart muscle when the heart rate goes up, typically during physical activities. If one were to push yourself extremely hard through this and keep exercising, the heart muscle could become more ischemic and this could trigger an arrhythmia that could even be fatal. That is extremely rare. When the symptoms get worse in a syndrome called “unstable angina” it suggests that there could be rupture of one of the plaques and this could predispose one to a real heart attack which does have a mortality risk.
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Angina means you have a narrow artery in the many going to your heart. Depending on which artery is involved, how severe the angina pain is, and when it comes on does make a difference, and you really should see a cardiologist. There is much we can do to CURE this condition. 

Regards,

Gerald Lewis, MD