Angina, which becomes more common as people age, can be a sign of other significant health issues, like coronary artery disease. However, despite this condition being more common among middle aged men, it can affect anyone, regardless of age or sex.
We take a look at the different causes of angina that could affect young people and what someone with angina can do about it.
What causes angina?
Angina is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart and the resultant lack of oxygen, which the body needs to function properly. One of the most common causes of this is coronary artery disease as it narrows the arteries.
Your body does not always need the same amount of oxygen to function. For instance, you will require vastly different volumes when you are sleeping compared to when you are performing rigorous physical activity.
However, when you increase the demand for oxygen and you have a limited amount being funneled to your heart due to narrowed arteries, this can cause angina and the painful symptoms that come with it.
This is also referred to as stable angina, where angina is caused by a specific trigger like increased physical activity, such as running or climbing the stairs. Other causes of this kind of angina include emotional stress, heavy meals and smoking, which can also cause the arteries to narrow and trigger angina.
Some people will also suffer from angina due to the rupturing of blood vessels or blood clots, which can significantly reduce the flow of blood through the body and to the heart.
Other causes of angina include spasm of otherwise healthy heart arteries that can be triggered for a number of reasons.
A severe and sudden decrease in blood flow to the heart must always be taken seriously and if blood flow does not improve naturally, individuals may need medical treatment to counteract the lack of oxygen in their system. If not, in the worse cases, this can lead to a heart attack.
How likely is it for young people to get angina?
A young person can develop angina in their 30s or even 20s, but admittedly it is quite rare. As angina occurs due to a reduction of blood being able to get to the heart muscle, it is more common for older people to suffer from this due to the impact of their lifestyle and natural ageing.
If an individual has relatives who have been diagnosed with a heart condition, it is wise for them to be vigilant about such issues occurring in their own bodies as well as regularly monitoring the condition of their heart.
If you believe you are suffering from angina, or are having palpitations and think it could be caused by an underlying heart condition, it might be useful to contact a cardiologist to receive an accurate diagnosis, even if it’s just to rule out the unlikely.
Our cardiologists in Northwest England receive patients of all ages and can help you get a more accurate overview of your heart health and risk factors, whether they are contributing to something serious now or in the future.
What are the symptoms?
If you are wondering what the symptoms of angina are, below are some of the most common.
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain
How can young adults keep their hearts healthy?
Whether you have angina now, or are deemed likely to get it in the future, it’s always important to have live in a way that protects your heart. Even for relatively healthy adults in their 20s and 30s, a few key lifestyle changes can prevent heart conditions in later life.
For instance, quitting smoking, exercising more, eating healthily, and reducing stress levels can all have a positive impact. Generally, enjoying things in moderation and being proactive about your health can go a long way. Heart health is a very serious issue some people don’t think about until it’s too late.
Would you like to talk with someone at Venturi Cardiology about meeting with one of our cardiologists in Northwest England? If the answer is yes, please don’t hesitate to get in touch by phone or leave your details with us and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.