How are your heart and lung health related?

You may think of your heart and your lungs as two very different parts of your body, but in reality, they are closely linked. Achieving good heart health and good respiratory health means keeping both your heart and your lungs healthy. Here is what you need to know about cardiopulmonary health problems.

Right side of the heart
If your cardiologist identifies problems with the right side of your heart, you could also be at risk for lung health issues. Poor pumping on the right side of your heart can impact your lung functioning and ultimately interfere with the ability of your heart and lungs to oxygenate blood so that it can be circulated throughout your body.

Abnormalities on the left side of your heart can contribute to lung issues as well, but right-sided heart health issues may be more problematic.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, is a respiratory condition that often includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. It is one of the leading causes of death in the US and one of the most common conditions to affect both the heart and the lungs.

COPD leads to impaired lung function. In turn, the heart struggles to fill with oxygenated blood. As the disease progresses, the heart typically starts to pump fewer times per minute. This change can even occur in people with mild COPD who have not yet begun to experience symptoms.

Heart and lung health advice
There are several actions you can take that will protect both your heart and lung health. These lifestyle choices will help to keep cardiopulmonary disease at bay:

  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Reduce your stress levels

Do aerobic exercise at least 30 minutes on most days—it will make your lungs fill with oxygen, and oxygen-rich blood will flow through your body

Riverside Community Hospital’s Heart Institute in Riverside is committed to providing comprehensive cardiac diagnostics and treatments to patients throughout the Inland Empire. If you’re concerned about your heart and lung health, call us today at (951) 788-3463.

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