Harvard Heart Letter

Unexplained shortness of breath

Shortness of breath is a common occurrence associated with many heart and lung problems. Diagnosis of the underlying cause is necessary to prescribe effective treatment. Yet standard tests fail to pinpoint the problem in many. Harvard experts say a sophisticated form of cardiopulmonary exercise testing is often effective. Once the cause is known, breathlessness can often be eliminated or reduced with medical or surgical treatment, or cardiac or pulmonary rehabilitation.
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