What is Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)?
What you need to know
- Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a disorder in which the pressure in the pulmonary arteries is above normal.
- There are five main types of PH which affect people in different ways, these include:
- Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
- Pulmonary hypertension owing to left heart disease (e.g. PH-LVD)
- Pulmonary hypertension owing to lung diseases and/or hypoxemia (e.g. PH-COPD or PH-ILD)
- Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
- Pulmonary hypertension with unclear multifactorial mechanisms (miscellaneous PH)
- PAH is one of the most rare forms of PH (WHO class I diagnostic classification) and can be idiopathic (meaning the cause is unknown) or heritable (genetically determined). PAH is associated with the following diseases and conditions:
- Connective tissue diseases
- Congenital heart defects
- Portal hypertension
- HIV Infection (AIDS)
- Medications/drug use/appetite suppressants
- Other factors
Who does PH affect and how common is it?
- PH affects approximately 25 million people worldwide.
- Globally, an estimated 360,000 people suffer from PAH.
- People of all ages, including children, can develop PH although it is most likely to be diagnosed between 40-50 years of age.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of PH are often not obvious and can be confused with other common conditions. The most common symptoms of PH include:
- Shortness of breath particularly upon physical exercise
Often, by the time the symptoms do appear, the disease is well advanced. As the symptoms of PH are non-specific, diagnosis can be delayed by as much as two years.
If you are experiencing symptoms, please visit your doctor immediately
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