Right before starting her stint on Dancing with the Stars TV show competition, singer Toni Braxton came down with a heart problem: microvascular angina.
But it’s not her first brush with heart disease. In 2004, Braxton was diagnosed with pericarditis — inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart. At the time, Braxton felt tired and short of breath, with “tightness” in her chest. She even wondered if it was her childhood asthma recurring. Finally, during an “Aida” intermission, she felt the room “spinning a little bit,” she says. She wound up in the emergency Because of the pericarditis, her heart flutters now.
People with microvascular angina, also known as cardiac syndrome X, suffer pain when doing strenuous exercise.
When most Americans think about someone with heart disease, they don’t envision Braxton. “You think it’s some older guy, retired,” says the R&B singer and songwriter. “But you can be in your 30s, less than 115 pounds, exercise—and have heart disease.”
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