Angina and heart attack are common heart diseases. Since both diseases have very similar symptoms, many get confused between heart attack and angina. Want to know how angina is different from attack? Continue reading to find out the causes of angina and heart attack.

Causes of Angina and Heart Attack


Is angina a heart attack? No, angina is not a heart attack or a heart condition. But it is a warning sign of heart disease. It is an indication that says something in your heart is not right. Angina is chest pain or discomfort that usually occurs when something blocks your arteries, and if  there isn’t enough blood flow to the heart muscles. 

Angina Symptoms and Treatment

Angina symptoms are somewhat similar to heart attack and are also a sign of life-threatening heart disease. People mostly experience pressure or squeezing pain in the chest. Here are some of the symptoms of angina. 

  • Aching
  • Burning 
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Excessive sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Abdominal pain or problems
  • Squeezing 

Note – The symptoms can differ from person to person. 

Types of Angina

There are three types of angina as follows: 

Stable Angina: This is one of the most common types of angina. It happens when your heart is working harder than usual. It is mostly triggered by physical activities, including climbing stairs. 

Unstable Angina: It is the most dangerous type, which is mostly caused by a blood clot. It comes without warning and it can be more severe. Unstable angina is one of the best warning signs of a heart attack. 

Variant Angina: This is a rare type of angina caused by coronary spasms. Variant angina most often occurs at night and usually when you’re at rest. Two out of 100 angina incidents occur because of variant angina. 

Diagnosis and Treatment

There are several tests to confirm angina. Here are a few- 

  1. Cardiac MRI
  2. CT scan
  3. Chest X-ray
  4. Blood tests
  5. Coronary angiography
  6. ECG
  7. Stress test
  8. Echocardiogram

After diagnosis, your doctor will decide which treatment is best for you.

Angina Vs Heart Attack

Angina Heart Attack
Angina is a type of chest pain that is similar to a heart attack. It is a symptom of underlying heart diseases. A heart attack is a major medical event, which is the leading cause of death globally.
It usually happens when the heart is unable to receive enough oxygen due to the blockage. A heart attack happens when there is a blockage of blood flow to the heart.
It is a symptom. It is a medical condition.

How does angina lead to a heart attack?

As mentioned earlier, angina is a sign of coronary artery disease, which is also a leading cause of heart attacks. So angina may or may not cause heart attacks. We advise you to seek medical help if you face any heart problems.