Angina is a symptom of an underlying heart problem. It’s usually a symptom of coronary heart disease (CHD), but it also can be a symptom of coronary microvascular disease (MVD). So, if you’re at risk for CHD or coronary MVD, you’re also at risk for angina.
The major risk factors for CHD and coronary MVD include:
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels.
- High blood pressure.
- Insulin resistance or diabetes.
- Overweight or obesity.
- Metabolic syndrome.
- Lack of physical activity.
- Unhealthy diet.
- Older age. (The risk increases for men after 45 years of age and for women after 55 years of age.)
- Family history of early heart disease.
For more detailed information about CHD and coronary MVD risk factors, visit the Diseases and Conditions Index Coronary Heart Disease, Coronary Heart Disease Risk Factors, and Coronary Microvascular Disease articles.
People sometimes think that because men have more heart attacks than women, men also suffer from angina more often. In fact, overall, angina occurs equally among men and women.
Microvascular angina, however, occurs more often in women. About 70 percent of the cases of microvascular angina occur in women around the time of menopause.
Unstable angina occurs more often in older adults. Variant angina is rare; it accounts for only about 2 out of 100 cases of angina. People who have variant angina often are younger than those who have other forms of angina.