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What is stable angina?

Theodore D. Richards, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Stable angina is predictable chest pain or discomfort that occurs during physical exertion or under mental or emotional stress. It can be relieved by rest or nitroglycerin or a combination of the two. It can progress to unstable angina which occurs at rest. This is sometimes called acute coronary syndrome, which is a medical emergency. If untreated, this condition can lead to a sudden heart attack.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The squeezing chest pain known as stable angina only happens with physical activity, lasts less than five minutes, and gets better with medication. It is different from unstable angina, which can be life threatening. Watch as Dr. Oz explains what causes angina and how to tell the differences between the two types.


Angina refers to chest pain produced when blood flow to the heart is low. When blood flow is low, the heart gets an inadequate amount of oxygen. This causes feelings ranging from pressure to pain. Angina that occurs on a regular basis, usually related to exercise or physical activity, is called stable angina.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.