Is all chest pain a heart attack?


No. One very common type of chest pain is called angina. It’s a recurring discomfort that usually lasts only a few minutes. Angina occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get the blood supply and oxygen that it needs.

The difference between angina and a heart attack is that angina attacks don’t permanently damage the heart muscle.

There are different types of angina, including:

  • Stable angina, or angina pectoris Stable angina often occurs during exercise or emotional stress when your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and your heart muscle needs more oxygen. 
  • Unstable angina, sometimes referred to as acute coronary syndrome Unstable angina occurs while you may be resting or sleeping, or with little physical exertion. It comes as a surprise. Unstable angina can lead to a heart attack and it should be treated as an emergency.

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