Chest pain and heart problems

Chest pain isn't always caused by a problem with your heart, but it can sometimes be a symptom of:

  • angina where the blood supply to the muscles of the heart is restricted
  • a heart attack where the blood supply to part of the heart is suddenly blocked

The main differences between these conditions is that chest pain caused by anginatends to be triggered by physical activity or emotional stress, and gets better with rest after a few minutes.

Symptoms of a heart attack tend to lastmore than 15 minutes, occur at rest, and include sweating and vomiting.

If you've previously been diagnosed with angina, the pain may be relieved by your anginamedication.A second dose can be taken after five minutes if the first dose is not effective.

Call 999 and ask for an ambulance if:

  • you're experiencing symptoms of a heart attack
  • you have angina and your medication still isn't effective five minutes after a second dose
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018