Difference Between COPD and CHF

Due to our modern way of living, millions of people are being affected by many severe diseases every day. COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and CHF or Congestive Heart Failure are two diseases where two particular organs of a human body suffer from severe damage. Though both of these diseases share a few common factors, they differ in many ways.


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The main difference between COPD and CHF is that COPD causes damage to the lungs, whereas CHF is a disease of the heart. Though there are a few common causes of both of these diseases, such as smoking, pollution, obesity etc., the causes, risk factors, treatments are different from each other.


COPD is a short form of a disease called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It is a long term disease as it takes a lot of time to develop in the lungs of the patients. It badly affects the lungs, and the damage cannot be undone. Though there are several treatments available to provide relief to the patients.

CHF is a term for Congestive Heart Failure. It causes damage to the heart where the heart ceases to produce oxygen, and as a result, it leads to its failure. If the underlying causes of heart failure are revealed and treated well, the patient will be able to lead a normal life. Thus, the patients can be cured completely.

Comparison Table Between COPD and CHF

Parameters of ComparisonCOPDCHF
Full formChronic Obstructive Pulmonary DiseaseCongestive Heart Failure
OrganIn this disease, the lungs of the patients are affected.CHF causes damage to the heart.
Time to developThis disease takes a lot of time to develop symptoms. So it is a long term disease.CHF can be diagnosed quickly.
CausesCOPD can happen due to pollution, dust, smoking, workplace fume etc.CHF happens due to obesity, smoking etc.
CurableCOPD is not curable but treatable.CHF can be cured completely.

What is COPD?

COPD or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is a severe lung disease. This disease develops over a long period of time. It is a type of obstructive pulmonary disease where the airflow is obstructed. Thus the air supply to the lungs will be stopped, and the patient can die in that situation.

This disease is not singular in nature. It includes a group of diseases. They are Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, Irreversible Asthma. Most of the patients have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The patients with COPD gradually start having difficulty in breathing. They suffer from the severe limitation of airflow and inflammation.

The major cause of COPD is smoking cigarettes. Though long-term exposure to second-hand smoking or irritants such as pollution, dust and workplace fume can also cause this disease. Even biomass exposure such as wood smoke can also contribute to causing this disease. It becomes very difficult to diagnose this as it does not show any symptoms at first. By the time the patient develops this disease, he or she starts experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, chest tightness etc.

Fatigue, weight loss and muscle loss are the common symptoms at the early stage of COPD. It is predominantly found in men and women older than 40 years. However, no cure has been found till now. But one can take steps to feel better.

What is CHF?

CHF or Congestive Heart Failure is a disease where a patient suffers from heart failure. In this state, the pumping power of one’s heart becomes weaker than normal. The blood flow gradually comes down, and on the other hand, the pressure in the heart increases. As a result, the heart becomes congested and stops working.

In this disease, the heart fails to pump enough oxygen to meet the body’s demand. It can be said that there are two types of heart failure. The first one includes the Left Atrium and the Left Ventricle that means the Left Side heart failure. The second is the Right Side heart failure that includes the Right Atrium and the Right Ventricle.

There can be many reasons behind heart failure. It can happen due to systolic dysfunction or the inability of the heart to contract and push out the blood, and diastolic dysfunction or the inability of the heart to relax. Due to CHF, a patient can experience severe damage to his health.

This disease can damage the heart muscles, causing CAD (Coronary Artery Disease), heart attack, hypertension, obesity and diabetes etc. In order to properly treat Congestive Heart Failure, the patient must focus on modifying his or her lifestyle such as losing weight, smoking cessation, exercising, limiting alcohol intake and having a healthier diet.

Main Differences Between COPD and CHF

  1. COPD is a severe disease of the lungs. On the other hand, CHF is a disease of the heart. 
  2. COPD is an umbrella term for a group of diseases. It is not a single disease. But CHF is a particular heart disease. 
  3. The causes of both of these diseases differ from each other. COPD can happen due to second-hand smoking, pollution, dust, biomass etc. But CHF can happen in either two conditions- if the heart stops pushing out blood or ceases to relax. 
  4. COPD cannot be cured. But there are many ways to relieve the pain of the patients. But CHF is completely treatable if patients are treated correctly. 
  5. It is very difficult to detect COPD in patients as it is a long term disease. On the other hand, CHF can be diagnosed easily.
Difference Between COPD and CHF


COPD or Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease and CHF or Congestive Heart Failure are both deadly diseases. It can cause death if not diagnosed and treated at the correct time. Though they share a few common factors that cause these diseases, they are absolutely different from each other.

COPD is not curable, whereas CHF can be cured. The severity of the diseases is also very different from each other. COPD, from the beginning, remains severe. On the other hand, Congestive Heart Failure can be diagnosed early without causing severe damage to the heart. Thus, both of the diseases need proper medical care.


  1. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0037483
  2. https://www.jacc.org/doi/abs/10.1016/S0735-1097(02)02968-6

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