Angina is a state of imbalance between the heart’s demands of oxygen which is essential for the production of energy by the heart’s muscle, and the supply of this vital nutrient. The heart’s blood supply comes from blood vessels called coronary arteries, and they originate from the aorta, which is the main blood supply for the whole body, except for the lungs.
The most common cause for such insufficiency is what we call coronary artery disease or “CAD.” It is mostly caused by the narrowing of the coronaries by the deposition of fat into their walls which is better known as atherosclerosis. Usually, this is a normal senile process that occurs over the years following the mid-twenties in human lives. However, it is sped up in some people who may start experiencing anginal pain in their forties or fifties and more recently owing to the trends of fast food and sedentary lifestyle.
It is hard to point out at a unique cause for angina because of two reasons; the first one is that there is more than one type of angina, and each type has its own causes. The second reason is that for the coronaries to be narrowed by fat, they need a multitude of factors.
To make things a little bit easier, let’s take the “risk factors” for atherosclerosis one by one and see how can they cause such condition or rather, become a predisposing factor:
Tobacco smoking causes hypertension, injures the walls of your arteries, and makes them more liable for atherosclerosis by depositing lipids (fats). It also promotes insulin resistance which increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, makes your blood “thicker” and makes your platelets more liable to “stick” together, thereby increasing the risk of having a fatal heart attack by clogging your arteries, cutting this way all blood supply to a part of your heart. That’s why it is widely accepted that smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the world.