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Can heart problems cause shortness of breath?

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Quick Answer

Shortness of breath is sometimes caused by heart problems, according to Mayo Clinic. This symptom appears with cardiomyopathy, or abnormal heart muscle, irregular heartbeat, or arrhythmia, pericarditis, a swelling around the heart, or heart failure.

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Full Answer

Other heart conditions also lead to shortness of breath. Coronary artery disease, also known as heart disease, is an artery blockage caused by plaque build-up, WebMD observes. Blood flow is impeded, and this increases the chance of a heart attack or stroke. Congenital heart defects are abnormalities in the heart's structure that develop before birth, WebMD states. Heart valve disease occurs when the flaps that control blood flow in the heart do not function properly, explains the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

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