Angina pectoris, or angina, is chest pain or discomfort that happens when a part of the heart does not get enough blood and oxygen 2. People who experience angina are at higher risk for a heart attack or cardiac arrest. Although more common in older adults, there are several conditions that can cause angina during childhood and the early teen years. Parents should seek medical attention if their child experiences signs of angina, which can include pain or tightening in the chest, or pain in the shoulders, neck, jaw or back.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
Coronary Heart Disease
Coronary heart disease (CHD), or coronary artery disease, is usually the chief culprit behind angina, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions Index 1. CHD exists when plaque builds up along the artery walls, stiffening the arteries themselves and reducing the flow of oxygen and blood to the heart muscle. Children and young teens who are overweight or obese, or who have type 2 diabetes, are at increased risk for angina and CHD. According to a 2003 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, almost 17 percent of teens are overweight or at risk for becoming overweight.
- Coronary heart disease (CHD), or coronary artery disease, is usually the chief culprit behind angina, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions Index 1.
Congential Heart Conditions
Chest Pain in Teen Athletes
Congenital heart disease can occur when a heart condition has existed since birth. An example of a more common congenital heart condition is a hole in the heart. Sometimes doctors do not discover a congenital heart condition until late childhood or early adolescence, when a patient reports angina characteristics.
Familial hypercholesterolemia is a rare genetic condition that can raise blood pressure extremely high and can cause angina and ultimately heart attacks in teenagers. Patients with this condition should begin a regimen of cholesterol-fighting medications, according to University of Iowa Health Care. Because high cholesterol is a risk factor for both angina pain and heart disease, teens with high cholesterol but without this genetic condition should adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes a healthful diet and exercise.
Chest Pain in Teen Athletes
Heart Pain After Using a Treadmill
My Heart Goes Out of Rhythm When I Squat
Should a Person with an Enlarged Heart Exercise?
Normal Pulse Rate for Teenagers
What Is a Cardiac Workload?
Heart Flutters Symptoms
What Are the Causes of Chest Pain & Burning Sensation?
Treadmill Ramp Test Protocol
How Much EPA & DHA Are in Chia Seeds?
- National Heart Lung and Blood Institute Diseases and Conditions Index: Angina
- American Heart Association: Angina Pectoris
- Jones MM, Somerville C, Feder G, Foster G. Patients' descriptions of angina symptoms: a qualitative study of primary care patients. Br J Gen Pract. 2010;60(579):735-41. doi:10.3399/bjgp10X532378
- Wang J, Xiong X, Feng B. Effect of crataegus usage in cardiovascular disease prevention: an evidence-based approach. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2013;2013:149363. doi:10.1155/2013/149363
- Mingorance C, Rodríguez-rodríguez R, Justo ML, Alvarez de sotomayor M, Herrera MD. Critical update for the clinical use of L-carnitine analogs in cardiometabolic disorders. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011;7:169-76. doi:10.2147/VHRM.S14356
- Yang K. A review of yoga programs for four leading risk factors of chronic diseases. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2007;4(4):487-91. doi:10.1093/ecam/nem154
- Rafieian-kopaei M, Setorki M, Doudi M, Baradaran A, Nasri H. Atherosclerosis: process, indicators, risk factors and new hopes. Int J Prev Med. 2014;5(8):927-46
- Kones R. Recent advances in the management of chronic stable angina I: approach to the patient, diagnosis, pathophysiology, risk stratification, and gender disparities. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2010;6:635-56. doi:10.2147/vhrm.s7564
- Ahumada C, Sáenz T, García D, De La Puerta R, Fernandez A, Martinez E. "The Effects of a Triterpene Fraction Isolated From Crataegus Monogyna Jacq. on Different Acute Inflammation Models in Rats and Mice. Leucocyte Migration and Phospholipase a2 Inhibition. " J Pharm Pharmacol. 1997 49(3):329-31.
- Iwamoto M, Sato T, Ishizaki T. "The Clinical Effect of Crataegutt in Heart Disease of Ischemic or Hypertensive Origin. a Multicenter Double-Blind Study. " Planta Med. 1981 42(1):1-16.
- Iyer RN, Khan AA, Gupta A, Vajifdar BU, Lokhandwala YY. "L-Carnitine Moderately Improves the Exercise Tolerance in Chronic Stable Angina." J Assoc Physicians India. 2000 48(11):1050-2.
- Mahajan AS, Reddy KS, Sachdeva U. "Lipid Profile of Coronary Risk Subjects Following Yogic Lifestyle Intervention." Indian Heart J. 1999 51(1):37-40.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Virginia Franco has more than 15 years experience freelance writing. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the education magazine "My School Rocks" and Work.com. Franco has a master's degree in social work with an emphasis in health care from the University of Maryland and a journalism degree from the University of Richmond.