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Updated October 28, 2004

Some causes related to cardiovascular disease: Cough, especially when related to shortness of breath, is a common symptom of heart failure.

Some causes related to other disorders: Numerous conditions involving the respiratory tract - from a simple cold to severe lung disease - can produce cough.

Significance: Any cough that is related to shortness of breath, or that persists for more than a few days, or that produces bloody or thick sputum, should be evaluated by a physician.

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