Pulmonologist Questions Breathlessness

Is breathless associated with the heart or the lungs?

My mother is 72 years old and is havign a lot of breathlessness even after doing a little bit of work. The ECG did not show any abnormalities in the heart. Could it be an issue of the lungs?

3 Answers

Yes. Breathlessness is probably more often related to the lungs than to the heart.

James L. Pearle, M.D.
Shortness of breath can be caused by a number of things. Problems with "lungs" is definitely one of the possible causes. Her primary care physician should refer her for some breathing tests, unless the PCP did some preliminary ones and they came back normal.
It can be both, the electrocardiogram being normal only evaluated rhythm and ischemic events (heart attack) new or old. A more comprehensive work up is required including echocardiogram to evaluate heart function and diastology. But it can also be related to lungs, especially current or former smokers. It can also be related to the communication between heart and lung which is called deconditioning.

Andres Borja Alvarez, MD