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What causes back pain and shortness of breath? 11 possible conditions

See a list of possible causes in order from the most common to the least.

1

Heart Attack Overview

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

A clot blocks the blood flow to the heart (heart attack), and damages heart muscle. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a blue or grey tinge to the skin.

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2

Obesity

Obesity is an epidemic in the U.S. This condition puts people at a higher risk for serious diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

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3

Lung Cancer Overview

There are two main types of lung cancer: non-small cell and small-cell. Learn about how these lung cancers are caused, your treatment options, and more.

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4

Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma is a type of cancer that affects plasma cells. Learn about multiple myeloma symptoms, diagnosis, risk factors, and treatment.

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5

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) Overview

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Learn the definition, symptoms, and causes of CAD by reading our overview.

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6

Dissection of the Aorta

This condition is considered a medical emergency. Urgent care may be required.

The aorta is a large artery that carries blood out of your heart. If you experience a dissection of the aorta, it means that blood has entered the wall of the artery, between the inner and middle layers. This can happe...

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7

Kyphosis

Kyphosis, also known as roundback or hunchback, is a condition in which the spine in the upper back has an excessive curvature. The upper back, or thoracic region of the spine, is supposed to have a slight natura...

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8

What You Need to Know About Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria

Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH) is a rare disorder that causes red blood cells to break down sooner than they should.

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9

Polio

Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly contagious disease that is caused by a virus that attacks the body's nervous system.

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10

Metabolic Syndrome X

Metabolic syndrome X is a group of five risk factors that can increase your chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. 

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11

Transfusion Reactions

A transfusion reaction is when your body has an adverse response to a blood transfusion. Learn how transfusion reactions occur and how to minimize your risk.

Read more »

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to diagnose.
Please consult a healthcare professional if you have health concerns.
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