200 years old “Remarks on Angina Pectoris”

200 years old remarks on angina pectoris

Angina pectoris is a medical condition in which severe chest pain occurs due to the lack of blood flow to the heart. The word angina was originated in the last years of 16th century.

You will enjoy this article, if you will consider yourself to be present in the year 1812, when the society was not highly technological and informed as it is today.

Dr. Heberden studied Angina Pectoris in 1772 and published the results in the London Medical Transactions. He studied hundred patients of Angina Pectoris in which three were women, one was a boy and the rest of them were men of about the age of fifty.

Dr. Wall also studied the disease with dissections. Dr. Fothergill reported that the heart must be a place for complaint in the disease.

Dr. Parry reported in 1799 and placed the disease under the “trivial name of Syncope Anginosa”. This differentiates the disease from the common fainting condition, i.e. Syncope, due to additional condition of pain in the region of the heart. Mr. Parry characterized the Angina as the disorder with diminished action of the heart and the effect of the bodily motion especially walking along with a significant pain in the chest that is more in the left side without palpitation.

John Warren reported the case of a person, who got angina attack while moving up to the fourth floor. He was relieved by tincture of opium. Although after second similar attack he died. In another condition, he gave a full dose of tincture of opium to the patient along with a cathartic and a blister was applied to the patient. The patient became sufficiently strong in two or three days. The person in worst conditions was easily relieved by opium, assafoetida and pediluvium. However, these were not able to save the life of the patient.


John Warren, M. D., (1812). Remarks on Angina Pectoris. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1:1-11


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