Chest Pain - Cause

What was the cause of your chest pain?

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 square:

Chest Pain Causes

Heart Attack Causes

A heart attack is caused by coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease. Heart disease may be caused by cholesterol buildup in the coronary arteries (atherosclerosis), blood clots, or spasm of the vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Risk factors for a heart attack are:

  • high blood pressure
  • diabetes
  • smoking
  • high cholesterol
  • family history of heart attacks at ages younger than 60 years, one or more previous heart attacks, male gender
  • obesity
  • Postmenopausal women are at higher risk than premenopausal women. This is thought to be due to loss of the protective effects of the hormone estrogen at menopause. It was previously treated by hormone supplements (hormone replacement therapy, or HRT). However, research findings have changed our thinking on HRT; long-term HRT is no longer recommended for most women.
  • Use of cocaine and similar stimulants.

Angina Causes

  • Angina may be caused by spasm, narrowing, or partial blockage of an artery that supplies blood to the heart.
  • The most common cause is coronary heart disease, in which a blood clot or buildup of fatty material inside the blood vessel (atherosclerosis) reduces blood flow but does not completely block the blood vessel.
  • Angina can be triggered by exercise or physical exertion, by emotional stress, or by certain heart rhythm disorders (arrhythmias) that cause the heart to beat very fast.

Aortic Dissection Causes

  • Aortic dissection may be caused by conditions that damage the innermost lining of the aorta.
    • These include uncontrolled high blood pressure, connective-tissue diseases, cocaine use, advanced age, pregnancy, congenital heart disease, and cardiac catheterization (a medical procedure).
  • Men are at higher risk than women.
  • A similar condition is aortic aneurysm. This is an enlargement of the aorta that can rupture, causing pain and bleeding. Aneurysms can occur in the aorta in the chest or the abdomen.

Pulmonary Embolism Causes

Pulmonary embolism risk factors include:

  • sedentary lifestyle,
  • obesity,
  • prolonged immobility,
  • fracture of a long bone of the legs,
  • pregnancy,
  • cancer,
  • history or family history of blood clots,
  • irregular heartbeat (arrhythmias),
  • heart attack, or
  • congestive heart failure.

Women who use birth control pills and smoke cigarettes are at higher risk than women who have only one or neither of these risk factors (especially over the age of 35).

Spontaneous Pneumothorax Causes

Spontaneous pneumothorax (collapsed lung) occurs when the pressure balance between the sac that contains the lung and the outside atmosphere is disrupted.

  • Injury to the chest that pierces through to the lung sac is the most common cause of this condition.
  • This can be caused by trauma, as in a car wreck, bad fall, gunshot wound or stabbing, or in surgery.
  • Some very thin and tall people may suffer a spontaneous pneumothorax due to stretched lung tissues and abnormal air sacs in the upper portions of their lungs. It is possible for these abnormal air sacs to rupture with even a sneeze or excessive coughing.
  • Other risk factors for pneumothorax include AIDS-related pneumonia, emphysema, severe asthma, cystic fibrosis, cancer, and marijuana and crack cocaine use
Return to Chest Pain

See what others are saying

Comment from: brennie12, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

I suffer from shortness of breath and chest pain when I walk up a hill or stairs. I went to the doctor, and he found I had an enlarged liver. The enlargement could have caused pressure and caused the chest pain, he said.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Christine M., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 10

My chest pain was caused by Takotsubo cardiomyopathy brought on by severe stress. Because I have a history of psychiatric problems, the pain was assumed to be a result of anxiety, and I was not assessed or given an ECG for three hours. Within minutes of having the ECG done, I was moved to Cardiac Care where I stayed for three days. I suffered a great deal of physical pain and discomfort and emotional trauma due to this lack of compassionate care.

Was this comment helpful?Yes


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