Angina - Causes

If known, what was the cause of your angina?

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white circle:

What causes angina?

The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease. A less common cause of angina is spasm of the coronary arteries.

Coronary artery disease

Coronary arteries supply oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. Coronary artery disease develops as cholesterol is deposited in the artery wall, causing the formation of a hard, thick substance called cholesterol plaque. The accumulation of cholesterol plaque over time causes narrowing of the coronary arteries, a process called arteriosclerosis. Arteriosclerosis can be accelerated by smoking, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, and diabetes. When coronary arteries become narrowed by more than 50% to 70%, they may no longer be able to meet the increased blood oxygen demand by the heart muscle during exercise or stress. Lack of oxygen to the heart muscle causes chest pain (angina).

Coronary artery spasm

The walls of the arteries are surrounded by muscle fibers. Rapid contraction of these muscle fibers causes a sudden narrowing (spasm) of the arteries. A spasm of the coronary arteries reduces blood to the heart muscle and causes angina. Angina as a result of a coronary artery spasm is called "variant" angina or Prinzmetal angina (vasospastic). Prinzmetal angina typically occurs at rest, usually in the early morning hours. Spasms can occur in normal coronary arteries as well as in those narrowed by arteriosclerosis.

Coronary artery spasm can also be caused by use of cocaine. The spasm of the artery wall caused by cocaine can be so significant that it can actually cause a heart attack.

Return to Angina

See what others are saying

Comment from: Anan, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 27

Sure, it's smoking if you have the habit. Tension and stress add more pressure.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!