Shortness of breath when bending over sign of heart problems

19 March 2014

Shortness of breath when bending over could be a sign of potential heart failure, according to cardiologists at the UT Southwestern Medical Centre.

The condition, which researchers have named “bendopnea”, could be used as a detectable symptom for doctors to diagnose excessive fluid retention in patients with these kinds of heart problems.

When patients were lying flat, clinicians measured both the pressures within the heart as well as the cardiac output, before making the same measurements in patients sitting in a chair for two minutes and bending over for 60 seconds. 

Dr. Jennifer Thibodeau, assistant professor of Internal Medicine in the Division of Cardiology, said: “We discovered that patients with bendopnea had too much fluid in their bodies, causing elevated pressures, and when they bent forward, these pressures increased even more."

Around ten per cent of 5.7 million Americans living with heart failure have seen the condition progress to an advanced stage. 

The condition is considered to be advanced when conventional heart therapies and symptom management strategies no longer yield results. 

Posted by Philip Briggs


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