Coronary Artery Disease - Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronary artery disease are angina (say "ANN-juh-nuh" or "ann-JY-nuh") and shortness of breath when exercising or doing other vigorous activity. Women are somewhat more likely than men to have other symptoms camera.gif like nausea and back or jaw pain.


Angina symptoms include chest pain or pressure or a strange feeling in the chest. This feeling can be in areas other than the chest camera.gif, such as in the neck or jaw. Angina can be stable or unstable.

  • Stable angina has a typical pattern. You can likely predict when it will happen. It happens when your heart is working harder and needs more oxygen, such as during exercise. Symptoms go away when you rest or take nitroglycerin.
  • Unstable angina is a change in your usual pattern of stable angina. It is an emergency. It may mean that you are having a heart attack.

Silent ischemia

Some people don't have any symptoms. This is called "silent ischemia." In rare cases, you can even have a "silent heart attack," a heart attack without symptoms.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
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