Can Bronchitis Be Fatal?

Author: Staff Writer

Bronchitis CAN be fatal.

According to the Centers for Disease Control bronchitis accounted for 639 deaths in the US in 2009. ["FASTSTATS - Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]

Acute bronchitis, which usually only lasts for seven to ten days, is usually not a cause for concern. Most people recover completely and are able to return to their normal activities. However, if bronchitis becomes chronic or if complications arise, it can potentially be fatal.

What Is Bronchitis?

The bronchi are the passages that carry air to the lungs. Bronchitis is a condition that occurs when these passages become inflamed. This condition usually occurs as the result of a viral infection. Young children, people with heart or lung problems, and the elderly are at the greatest risk for developing bronchitis. Chronic bronchitis, which is more serious, is usually a result of smoking.

Complications Associated with Bronchitis

Pneumonia is a possible complication of either acute or chronic bronchitis. Pneumonia carries its own complications, some of which are serious including a condition known as empyema where fluid collects around the lungs and may become infected. Pneumonia can also cause a lung abscess or acute respiratory distress syndrome. Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide. ["Pneumonia Fact Sheet." World Health Organization]

Emphysema is a condition that destroys the air sacs in the lungs and is a possible complication of chronic bronchitis. It is estimated that over 100,000 people die from emphysema each year. ["Emphysema." Breathe California]

Pulmonary hypertension is another term for high blood pressure in the arteries that lead to the lungs. It is a possible complication of chronic bronchitis. Most patients with pulmonary hypertension have a reduced quality of life. ["Pulmonary hypertension - PubMed Health." National Center for Biotechnology Information]


Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
"FASTSTATS - Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease"

Mayo Clinic
"Pneumonia: Complications"

World Health Organization
"Pneumonia Fact Sheet"

purple arrowCite this Article

"Can Bronchitis Be Fatal?." Sophisticated Edge. N.p., n.d. Web. . <>.  

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to treat or diagnose any health problems or illnesses without consulting a physician. It is not meant to take the place of health care or services you may need. Please consult a physician with any questions you may have regarding your health.

New! Be the First to Follow Us

Sophisticated Media LLC | Copyright © 2009-2014
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us
Sophisticated Allure | Sophisticated Blog | Sophisticated Gardening | Sophisticated Manners
Visit Us On: Facebook lTwitter