People who have diseases or conditions that affect the muscles, nerves, bones, or tissues that support breathing are at risk for respiratory failure. People who have lung diseases or conditions also are at risk for respiratory failure. For more information, go to "What Causes Respiratory Failure?"
The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.