Your lungs and heart are both used to move blood and oxygen around your body.

One of these players is damaged or under performing.

Pneumonia is an inflammation of the lungs. The tiny air sacs that move gases like oxygen in and out of your blood fill with fluid or pus.

If you have already been diagnosed with heart disease, and you develop pneumonia, this article will explore how it can affect your heart.

Coronary artery disease is the most common form of heart disease in the United States. It develops when cholesterol and other substances build up in your blood vessels — specifically the coronary arteries that supply blood to your heart.

Diet, lifestyle choices, and genetics are some of the things that can lead to this build up.

The build up of substances in your blood vessels can cause serious problems if they are not properly maintained. It is even more serious when the plaques break off from the walls of your blood vessels.

When these pieces break off, they can travel to other parts of the body, cutting off the blood supply to the brain and heart, leading to a stroke or A heart attack..

On its own, pneumonia is not a heart disease. It’s a lung infection caused by bacteria or viruses.

Pneumonia can be caused by heart disease problems like congestive heart failure.

Certain types of heart failure can lead to pulmonary edema. In this case, the heart is too weak to effectively pump blood out to the body, so the blood backs up into the heart and eventually into the lungs.

As this backed-up blood builds up in the lungs, pressure in the blood vessels of your lungs increases, and it can cause fluid buildup in the alveoli.

This results in an effect similar to pneumonia, where the air sacs fill with fluid.

Pneumonia is an infection that can cause inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can lead to other complications, including an increased risk that bits of plaque can break free from your vessel walls and lead to A heart attack. or stroke.

Pneumonia can cause its own problems even without existing cardiovascular disease or plaque build up.

Inflammation can interfere with the normal function of all kinds of systems in your body — especially the heart. This makes heart failure one of the most common complications of pneumonia.

About 30% of people hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia develop heart failure and other cardiovascular problems, but the risk isn’t always immediate. Research indicates that the greatest risk of heart complications occurs in the month after a pneumonia diagnosis, and the risk can continue for up to a decade.

It can be difficult to tell when a disease is affecting your heart.

Additional symptoms you may experience with pneumonia that are not as common with heart disease include:

  • “It’s cold.”
  • There is a high degree of fever.
  • A cough.

Inflammation in response to a pneumonia infection can have a big impact on your heart.

People with a history of heart disease are more likely to be affected by heart damage from pneumonia.

Among people who develop pneumonia with preexisting heart failure, about 1.4% who are treated in the outpatient setting find their heart failure gets worse after pneumonia. That percentage increases to 24% in people with more severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization.

Cardiac symptoms can be caused by inflammation and can be worse after a bout with pneumonia.

Pneumonia can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, and a history of heart disease can increase the risk of pneumonia.

One 2018 study found that people with cardiovascular diseases — heart failure in particular — are three times more likely than others to develop community-acquired pneumonia.

Taking care of your overall health is the best way to prevent problems like pneumonia and heart failure.

This means:

People with heart disease are generally recommended to stay up-to-date on various vaccinations, too. This can prevent acute infection and its complications.

There may be little difference in mortality rates among people with heart failure and pneumonia who had been vaccined.

Your lungs and heart work in tandem. Infections and chronic diseases can affect the other.

Pneumonia can increase your risk of developing a heart disease. Heart disease can increase your risk of developing pneumonia.

Talk to your doctor about your health and how to prevent chronic heart disease and acute infections.

The best strategy involves other health and diet strategies, too, and vaccines are one part of that.