Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary Hypertension

Pulmonary Hypertension What Is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Woman sitting on a bench with her hand on her chest

Pulmonary hypertension is a condition that affects the blood vessels in the lungs. It develops when the blood pressure in your lungs is higher than normal. About 1% of people globally have pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension makes the heart work harder than normal to pump blood into the lungs. This can damage the heart and cause symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, and lightheadedness.

Pulmonary hypertension can develop on its own or be caused by another disease or condition. There are five different groups of pulmonary hypertension:

  • Group 1: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH)
  • Group 2: Pulmonary hypertension due to left-sided heart disease
  • Group 3: Pulmonary hypertension due to lung disease and/or hypoxia
  • Group 4: Pulmonary hypertension due to pulmonary artery obstructions, including chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)
  • Group 5: Pulmonary hypertension with unknown and/or multiple causes

Over 50% of pulmonary arterial hypertension cases worldwide have no known cause. In the United States, the most common type of pulmonary hypertension is caused by left-sided heart disease, such as left heart failure. Several other medical conditions and environmental factors  can raise your likelihood of developing pulmonary hypertension. Your healthcare provider will consider your symptoms and health history before conducting tests to diagnose pulmonary hypertension.

Treatments for pulmonary hypertension will depend on the cause of the condition. Many times, there is no cure for pulmonary hypertension, but your provider can work with you to manage the symptoms. This may include medicine or healthy lifestyle changes.

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