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The Doctor's Surgery

Regulars | August Issue

The matter of the heart

The seasons, in differing ways, will detect early signs of angina and heart disease. The sight of an elderly person on a cold, windy day, taking an inordinately long look at a shop window while climbing a hill, is often the first sign that their treasured old spouse or parent is beginning to suffer from angina.  In the summer, the initial evidence of a narrowing coronary artery may be uncovered by a usually inactive, office-bound wage slave taking part in holiday exercise. In my Norfolk practice, pulling a boat out of the water was an occasional precipitating factor, but a strenuous tennis match, or even gruelling, unaccustomed golf, can uncover previously undetected heart problems. The pain of angina arises because narrowing of the coronary arteries deprives the heart muscle of an adequate supply of oxygen. It varies in nature and severity. It is not a sharp pain, but usually a...

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