What Lung Diseases Cause the Most Hospitalizations?

  • Medical Author:
    George Schiffman, MD, FCCP

    Dr. Schiffman received his B.S. degree with High Honors in biology from Hobart College in 1976. He then moved to Chicago where he studied biochemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle. He attended Rush Medical College where he received his M.D. degree in 1982 and was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society. He completed his Internal Medicine internship and residency at the University of California, Irvine.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Understanding COPD

Ask the experts

What are the most common lung diseases or conditions for which people are hospitalized?

Doctor's response

The most common lung diseases for which people are hospitalized include pneumonia, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It is important to remember the integral part the lungs play in our overall health. Many people develop pulmonary symptoms, but these can be secondary to other conditions. For instance, patients who experience a heart attack may develop shortness of breath because of the heart failure resulting from cardiac damage. Patients who are infected in other organs, like the kidneys, can present with respiratory distress as pulmonary compensation for acids building up in the body from the infection. That childhood song really characterizes it best, for example, "the ankle bone is connected to the shin bone...."

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Management of stable chronic obstructive pulmonary disease"

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Reviewed on 9/12/2017

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