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Angina is more common in men and post-menopausal women. It is associated with a number of different factors. These include a family history of atherosclerosis (thickening of the arteries), high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure, smoking, being male, diabetes type I and type II, obesity, stress and lack of regular exercise.
The symptoms of angina are a squeezing sensation on the chest; a sense of heaviness or numbness in the arm, shoulder, elbow or hand; a constricting sensation in the throat; increased shortness of breath on exercise.
In many cases angina can be prevented by taking aspirin. Your GP may advise you to take a small dose of aspirin each day to help thin the blood and reduce the tendency of small blood cells to stick together.
A number of different types of medication can be prescribed to help sufferers reduce the severity of attacks. One of the most common therapies is Glyceryl Trinitrate (spray or tablets) which relaxes the arteries and relieves an angina attack.
Several medicines may be needed to control symptoms and improve the condition without side effects from the treatment itself. In this way, the medicine is tailored to each patient's individual needs.