Angina or heart attack

Angina or heart attack

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Credit: MAURO FERMARIELLO/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Angina or heart attack. Office worker clutching his chest in pain, due to angina or a heart attack (myocardial infarction). The severe chest pain characteristic of both conditions is caused by a lack of blood, and consequently oxygen, to the muscle of the heart. Restricted coronary blood supply is commonly due to the narrowing or blockage of arteries caused by a blood clot, a result of smoking, or deposits of fat (athero- sclerosis). Angina can be brought on by exertion or stress, and may be relieved by rest. A heart attack causes lasting damage to heart muscle, and can be fatal. Both conditions may require drugs and surgery.

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