Angina at 30

  • 1st Revision: Shikha Javaharlal
  • 2nd Revision: Tamsin Rose
  • 3rd Revision: Wasi Karim


Developing angina below the age of 30 is very rare. However, what makes angina more common at this age are underlying health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and high cholesterol.

What is Angina?

Angina[1], commonly known as angina pectoris, is a chest ailment that causes squeezing, pressure, heaviness, tightness, or discomfort. Some have described angina symptoms as a vice crushing their chest or a heavyweight resting on their chest. 

Chest pain produced by reducing blood supply to the heart muscles is angina. It's usually not life-threatening, but it could mean that you could have coronary heart disease, leading to a heart attack[2] or stroke. Even though angina is very prevalent, it can be difficult to distinguish it from other forms of chest pain, such as indigestion discomfort.

  • Chronic and stable Angina [3]. Chest discomfort arises when your heart is working harder it may need more oxygen, such as during exercise. When you relax, the discomfort may subside. For at least two months, the pain pattern, including how long it lasts, how often it happens, what provokes it, and how it reacts to rest or therapy, stays steady.
  • Unstable Angina[4]. It is either new chest pain or a change in your regular pattern of chest pain, such as when it gets worse, lasts longer, or doesn't go away with rest or medicine. Unstable angina is a hazardous symptom of a heart attack. Seek immediate medical attention if your angina is unstable.

Variant or Prinzmetal angina is a rare kind produced by a spasm in the coronary arteries, and microvascular Angina, a sign of illness in the tiny coronary artery blood vessels, are two more types of angina.


Angina is caused by coronary artery disease (CAD) as a result of reduced blood flow to the heart muscle[5][6]

Your blood transports oxygen to your heart muscle, which it needs to survive. Ischemia is a disorder that occurs when your heart muscle does not receive enough oxygen. Plaques, which are fatty deposits, can constrict your heart (coronary) arteries, which is referred to as atherosclerosis. 

During periods of low oxygen demand, such as during sleep, your heart muscle may be able to operate with less blood flow without causing angina symptoms. Angina can develop when the oxygen demand increases, such as when you exercise.

Who is usually at risk?

Risk factors

The following factors increase your risk of coronary artery disease and angina:

  • Tobacco consumption: Tobacco chewing, smoking, and long-term exposure to secondhand smoke damage the inside walls of arteries, causing cholesterol deposits to form and restrict blood flow.
  • Diabetes: Diabetes accelerates atherosclerosis and raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of coronary artery disease, which leads to angina and heart attacks.
  • Cholesterol or triglyceride levels in the blood: Cholesterol is a critical component of the deposits that can constrict arteries throughout the body, including those that feed the heart. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, sometimes referred to as "bad" cholesterol, raises your risk of angina and heart attacks. Triglycerides are a type of blood fat that comes from foods such as butter and oils, which when get dangerously high can lead to atherosclerosis and increase your risk of angina or heart attacks.
  • Heart disease in the family: If a family member has coronary artery disease or has had a heart attack, you're more prone to suffering from angina.
  • Lack of physical activity: A sedentary lifestyle relates to high cholesterol, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and obesity. Obesity is connected to high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, raising the risk of angina and heart disease. If you're overweight, your heart may have to work more to provide blood to your body. However, you should check with your doctor before starting an activity programme.
  • Stress: Angina and heart attacks can both be exacerbated by stress. Anxiety, as well as anger, may cause your blood pressure to rise. As a result, younger individuals under 30 are now more prone to suffer from angina. Stress-related hormone surges might restrict your arteries and aggravate angina.

How can it progress?

Angina arises when one or more of the coronary arteries become restricted or blocked. Angina pain might be modest at first, but it will gradually worsen. It might also appear out of nowhere. Although angina usually affects middle-aged or older people assigned male at birth, it can afflict both sexes and people of all ages [7].


Angina symptoms include chest pain[8] and discomfort. Chest pain, characterised as pressure, squeezing, burning, or fullness, is the most common symptom of angina. This discomfort has the potential to extend to your arms, neck, jaw, shoulder, and back. Further symptoms include dizziness, nausea, sweat, exhaustion, and breathlessness[9]

The most prevalent type of angina is stable angina. It generally occurs after you have exerted yourself and subsided with rest. Angina, for example, is a type of discomfort that occurs while you're walking uphill or in cold temperatures.


If you require angina treatment right now, do the following:

  • Take a break, relax, and rest. If you're able, lie down. Concentrate on your breathing to relax. Slowly inhale the air through your nose, then slowly exhale from your mouth.
  • Take nitroglycerin[10]: If the pain or discomfort does not go away after a few minutes of taking nitroglycerin, or if your symptoms worsen, you must contact your GP or tell someone you need medical help immediately.
  • If you have angina, honest communication with your doctor is critical. When you're first diagnosed with angina, during your therapy you and your doctor should keep a close eye on your development and make any necessary modifications over time.

The optimal therapy for your angina is determined by the type of angina you have and other variables. If your angina is stable, lifestyle modifications and medications may be able to help you manage it. Unstable angina necessitates prompt hospitalisation, which may include medications and surgical treatments.

Is Angina a life-shortening condition?

Is it possible to die from angina? Angina is a symptom, not a sickness or condition; therefore, no. However, this symptom is a marker of coronary artery disease, which means you're more likely to have a heart attack – and heart attacks can be fatal.

Living with Angina in your 30s

Angina is most typically associated with middle-aged to older people AMAB. However, it can affect anybody, regardless of age or gender. Remember that angina is a symptom of an underlying heart condition, not a disease.

In their 20s or 30s, a young person may suffer from angina. Other heart diseases that you can observe in their 20s include aortic stenosis[12], atrial septal defect[13], heart rhythm problems[14], long QT Syndrome, and Pulmonary Stenosis. A reduction in blood flow to your heart muscles causes angina. Typically, such a decline occurs as a result of ageing. Heart weaknesses can play a role, but most young individuals who develop the ailment do so due to family history. Relatives assigned male at birth (AMAB) diagnosed before the age of 55, and relatives assigned female at birth (AFAB) diagnosed before the age of 65, are robust markers that a younger individual may have angina at some point.

How can young adults keep their hearts healthy?

It's just a matter of doing things in moderation and being proactive about reducing dangers. Exercising and not smoking are both beneficial to heart health. 

Regular physical activity can aid in the prevention of heart disease. Adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes per week at a moderate level [11]. Walking, dancing and bicycling are all activities that increase your heart rate. Take it slowly if you're just getting started!

We recommend reading some of our most recent blog pieces for tips, such as this one on why running a marathon is good for your heart health[15]. However, before beginning any sort of strenuous exercise, you must always consult your doctor. 

Stop smoking

Coronary heart disease is caused mainly by smoking. Smoking can aggravate your health: cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and all other tobacco products such as shisha[16] fall under this category. The single most significant move you can take to live longer is stopping smoking[17].

Maintain a healthy blood pressure level

High blood pressure[18] causes your heart to work harder and leads to artery damage. If you already suffer from angina, high blood pressure can exacerbate your symptoms and increase your risk of a heart attack. If you have high blood pressure, you have to make every effort to lower it.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to help manage your blood pressure and minimise the burden on your heart. You may also lower your blood pressure by maintaining a healthy weight and shape[19], being active[11][20], and avoiding salt[21] and alcohol[22].

Consume a healthy, well-balanced diet.

A healthy, balanced diet[23] with at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day and more beneficial fats,[23][24] will help minimise your risk of coronary heart disease. If you eat two fish meals every week, your cholesterol levels will improve, and your heart will be protected. Oily fish[25], such as trout, sardines, herrings, mackerel, or fresh tuna, should be one of these servings. Additionally, consume rich fibrefiber foods, including oats, beans, and lentils. Most importantly, you must reduce your intake of salt and sugar.

Reduce your stress levels

It's critical to learn how to relax if you suffer from angina [26][27]. Physical activity, yoga, and other relaxation practices are helpful for some people. It may help if you also learned to recognise events that cause you stress and how to deal with them appropriately.


  3. Ohman EM. Chronic stable angina. New England Journal of Medicine. 2016 Mar 24;374(12):1167-76.
  4. Moccia JM. Unstable angina: Sorting out the questions. Nursing. 1997 Nov 1;27(11):CC1.
  5. Montazeri N, Sadeghi M, Sanei H, Asgary S, Farjoallahi M, Akbari M, Akhbari MR, Teimouri S. Can ICAM and VCAM Can Predict Severity of CAD in Stable Angina?. Journal of Isfahan Medical School. 2009 Nov 1;27(99).
  6. Bruning RS, Sturek M. Benefits of exercise training on coronary blood flow in coronary artery disease patients. Progress in cardiovascular diseases. 2015 Mar 1;57(5):443-53.
  7. Sanchis-Gomar F, Perez-Quilis C, Leischik R, Lucia A. Epidemiology of coronary heart disease and acute coronary syndrome. Annals of translational medicine. 2016 Jul;4(13).
  10. Boden WE, Padala SK, Cabral KP, Buschmann IR, Sidhu MS. Role of short-acting nitroglycerin in the management of ischemic heart disease. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 2015;9:4793.
  11. Lee PG, Jackson EA, Richardson CR. Exercise prescriptions in older adults. American family physician. 2017 Apr 1;95(7):425-32.
  23. Gibson EL, Wardle J, Watts CJ. Fruit and vegetable consumption, nutritional knowledge and beliefs in mothers and children. Appetite. 1998 Oct 1;31(2):205-28.
  26. Eifert GH. Cardiophobia: a paradigmatic behavioural model of heart-focused anxiety and non-anginal chest pain. Behaviour Research and Therapy. 1992 Jul 1;30(4):329-45.
  27. Robinson BF. Relation of heart rate and systolic blood pressure to the onset of pain in angina pectoris. Circulation. 1967 Jun;35(6):1073-83.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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