Association of types of dyspnea including 'bendopnea' with cardiopulmonary disease in primary care

Rev Port Cardiol. 2017 Mar;36(3):179-186. doi: 10.1016/j.repc.2016.08.007. Epub 2017 Feb 15.
[Article in English, Portuguese]


Introduction: Dyspnea is the symptom most commonly reported by patients with heart failure (HF) and/or pulmonary disease, the obese and the elderly. Recently 'bendopnea' (shortness of breath when bending forward) has been described in patients with HF.

Objective: To determine the association of exertional dyspnea, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea and bendopnea with chronic disease, especially heart failure, and their phenotypes in primary care.

Methods: This cross-sectional study included 633 individuals aged between 45 and 99 years enrolled in a primary care program in Niteroi, Brazil. Participants underwent clinical assessment and laboratory tests and completed a questionnaire, all on the same day.

Results: Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea and bendopnea were associated with HF (unadjusted OR 2.42, 95% CI 1.10-5.29 and OR 2.59, 95% CI 1.52-4.44, respectively). In multivariate models, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary heart disease and myocardial infarction were not associated with bendopnea.

Conclusions: Bendopnea was the only type of dyspnea not linked to respiratory disease or coronary heart disease. Even after adjusting for depression and body mass index, the association remained with HF with or without preserved ejection fraction, and bendopnea thus appears to be a promising symptom to differentiate HF from the other two disease groups.

Keywords: Bendopnea; Cuidados de saúde primários; Dispneia; Dispneia paroxística noturna; Dyspnea; Flexopneia; Heart failure; Insuficiência cardíaca; Paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea; Primary care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyspnea / classification*
  • Dyspnea / etiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Failure / complications*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Primary Health Care