Glossary

Angina — Discomfort, pain, or pressure in the chest caused by an inadequate blood supply to the heart. Pain may also be felt in the neck, jaw, or arms.

Angiogram (cardiac catheterization) — A test used to diagnose heart disease. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into an artery, usually in the leg or wrist, and contrast dye is injected into the arteries and heart. X-rays of the arteries and heart are taken.

Anticoagulant — A medication that prevents blood from clotting; used for some people with a history of heart diseasestroke, atrial fibrillation, or blood clots.

Atherosclerosis (“hardening of the arteries”) — The process whereby abnormal deposits of fats, cholesterol, and plaque build up, leading to coronary artery disease and other cardiovascular problems.

Beta-blocker — A drug that slows heart rate, lowers blood pressure, controls chest pain, and helps reduce the risk of heart attack in patients with a history of heart attack.

Calcium-channel blocker — A drug that lowers blood pressure and may slow heart rate to control chest pain. The drug works by blocking the uptake of calcium in the cells.

Cardiac Catheterization (angiogram) — A test used to diagnose heart disease. During the procedure a catheter is inserted into an artery, usually in the leg, wrist, or arm, and contrast dye is injected into the arteries and heart. X-rays of the arteries and heart are taken.

Catheter — A slender, hollow, flexible tube.