Angina Pectoris

  1. Definition of "angina pectoris."



  1. Signs and symptoms of angina pectoris.


  1. Chest pain (may range from mild to very severe).

  2. Anxiety.

  3. Indigestion.

  4. Sweating.

  5. Shortness of breath.


  1. Locations where chest pain may occur.


  1. Mid-anterior chest.

  2. Neck and jaw.

  3. Inner aspects of arms (left are more common).

  4. Upper abdomen.

  5. Shoulders and between shoulder blades.


  1. Possible precipitating factors and appropriate measures to decrease risk.


    1. Factors: Sudden physical exertion  Measures:

      1. Exercise regularly.

  1. Take regular rest periods.

  2. Take nitroglycerin before sexual and other increased activity.

  1.  Factors:  Emotional stress


  1. Learn stress management techniques. (Provide "Relaxation Techniques" handout.)

  1. Factors: Consumption of a heavy meal


  1. Eat small frequent meals.

  2. Rest after meals.

  1. Factors:  Temperature extremes


  1. Dress warmly in cold weather.

  2. Avoid sleeping in cold rooms.

  3. Avoid becoming overheated.

  1. Factors:  Nicotine


  1. Avoid smoking (it constricts blood vessels).

  1. Factors:  Hypertension


  1. Take medications as prescribed.

  2. Monitor blood pressure closely.

  1. Factors:  Obesity


  1. Achieve and maintain ideal weight.  (Provide "Weight Reduction" handout.)

  1. Factors:  Constipation accompanied by excessive straining.


  1. Eat diet high in fiber. (Provide "Fiber in Diet" handout.)

  2. Exercise regularly.

  3. Take stool softeners as needed.


  1. What to do if an angina attack occurs.


    1. Take nitroglycerin at the first sign of angina. (Provide "Nitroglycerin" handout.)

    2. Rest in a lying or sitting position.

    3. Maintain a quiet environment.

    4. If the client feels no relief five minutes after taking nitroglycerin, take nitroglycerin again.  If another five minutes pass and the client feels no relief, take nitroglycerin a third time.

    5. If the client feels no relief five minutes after the third dose of nitroglycerin, get medical attention.  


  1. Possible complications of angina.


    1. Dysrhythmia of the heart.

    2. Myocardial infarction.