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Definition of «Angina»


Angina: Chest pain due to an inadequate supply of oxygen to the heart muscle. The chest pain of angina is typically severe and crushing. There is a feeling just behind the breastbone (the sternum) of pressure and suffocation.

Angina was first described in 1772 by the English physician William Heberden in 20 patients who suffered from "a painful and most disagreeable sensation in the breast, which seems as if it would extinguish life, if it were to increase or to continue." Such patients, he wrote, "are seized while they are walking (more especially if it be uphill, and soon after eating). But the moment they stand still, all this uneasiness vanishes."

The word "angina" comes from the Latin verb "angere" meaning "to choke or throttle." "Angina" is now the same as "angina pectoris" (the Latin "pectus" = "chest").

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