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Angina pectoris

heart oxygen arm discomfort

Angina pectoris, severe but temporary attack of heart pain that occurs when the demand for oxygen by the heart muscle exceeds the ability of the coronary vessels to supply oxygen, due to narrowing or blockage of the vessels. The discomfort of angina pectoris, although highly variable, is most commonly felt beneath the sternum (breastbone). Pain may radiate to the left shoulder and down the inside of the left arm, straight through to the back, into the throat, the jaws, and the teeth. Anginal discomfort may be felt in the upper and lower abdomen, and occasionally in the right arm. Angina pectoris is characteristically triggered by physical activity and usually persists for no more than a few minutes, subsiding with rest.

See also: Heart.

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