What is Pulmonary Hypertension?
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a disease where you have abnormally high blood pressure in the blood vessels of your lungs (pulmonary arteries). In PH, the pulmonary arteries become narrowed, and can be scarred to the point of being closed. PH is a serious illness, and can be life-threatening.
Signs and Symptoms of Pulmonary Hypertension:
- shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- chest pain, a heaviness, pressure or tightness in the centre of the chest (angina)
- feeling faint or lightheaded
- rapid, forceful or irregular heartbeat (palpitations)
- swelling of feet and ankles (and possibly swelling of belly/abdomen)
Who is at risk for Pulmonary Hypertension?
Pulmonary Hypertension can occur at any age, but it typically affects people between 20 and 60 years of age. Pulmonary Hypertension can occur for no known reason (Idiopathic), but there are also some factors that increase the risk of Pulmonary Hypertension:
- history of a close relative having PH (inherited)
- use of appetite-suppressant medications for weight loss
- history of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lungs)
- other medical conditions including lung disease (such as emphysema or COPD), heart disease (such as heart failure), as well as connective tissue diseases (such as scleroderma), and severe liver disease
- Infection with HIV/AIDS or Hepatitis B or C
Next Learn about the different types of pulmonary hypertension >>
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