What's the Connection? Your Heart Can Affect Your Breathing Make an Appointment Ask a Question Search Conditions This information has been reviewed and approved by Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP (January 2021). Want to use this on your website? Fill out the content usage request form and then copy this code: Summary: What's the Connection? Your Heart Can Affect Your Breathing The heart and lungs work together to make sure the body has the oxygen-rich blood it needs to function properly. The Pulmonary Loop The right side of the heart picks up the oxygen-poor blood from the body and moves it to the lungs for cleaning and re-oxygenating. The Systemic Loop Once the blood is re-oxygenated, the left side of the heart moves the blood throughout the body so that every part receives the oxygen it needs. The close connection between the heart and lungs means that breathing problems can be caused by issues in either the heart or lungs, or both. Pay attention to breathing and heart functions. Remember that both the heart and lung can be sources of breathing problems. See the doctor when something does not seem right. Symptoms Of A Heart/Lung Condition Can Include: unexplained shortness of breath low oxygen levels chest pain near-fainting/fainting fatigue palpitations heart failure Common Problems Related To The Heart/Lung Connection Are: exercise intolerance fatigue irregular heartbeats sleep apnea asthma bronchitis weak heart muscle shortness of breath emphysema pulmonary hypertension heart attack Interesting Facts 100,000 heart beats a day 1,500 miles of airways 5 quarts of blood pumped per minute 16 seconds for blood to travel from the heart to the toes and back 15 to 25 breaths per minute More Information on National Jewish Health Cardiac Unit Fuels Expertise in Pulmonary Hypertension Cardiac Conditions Better Health Starts After Your Last Cigarette Take a Step Toward Better Health: Walk-With-A-Doc Safe Exercise for Patients with Heart Disease Maintaining a Healthy Weight Exercise Cutting Sodium From Your Diet The Dangers of Too Much Sodium Love Your Recipes With Healthy Ingredient Substitutions Shortness of Breath and Eating Altitude and The Heart Make an Appointment Programs & Services Find a Doctor You may use this infographic or our What's the Connection? Your Heart Can Affect Your Breathing (pdf) with permission by completing our content usage request form.