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Hypoventilation is too shallow or too slow breathing, which does not meet the needs of the body. It may also refer to reduced lung function.

If a person hypoventilates, the body's carbon dioxide level rises, which results in too little oxygen in the blood.


Shea SA, White DP. Disorders of ventilatory control. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders; 2007:chap 86.

Review Date: 2/19/2009
Reviewed By: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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