You may have an increased risk for pulmonary hypertension because of your age, environment, family history and, lifestyle habits, medicines you are taking, other medical conditions, or sex.
Your risk of pulmonary hypertension goes up as you get older, although it may occur at any age. The condition is typically diagnosed between ages 30 and 60.
You may be at an increased risk of pulmonary hypertension if you have or are exposed to the following:
- Asbestos or silica
- Infection caused by parasites such as schistosomiasis or Echinococcus, which are tapeworms
Family history and genetics
Certain genetic disorders, such as Down syndrome, congenital heart disease, and Gaucher disease, can increase your risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.
A family history of blood clots or pulmonary embolism also increases your risk of developing pulmonary hypertension.
Unhealthy lifestyle habits can increase the risk of pulmonary hypertension. These habits include:
- Illegal drugs, such as cocaine and amphetamines
Some medicines may increase your risk of pulmonary hypertension, including:
- Chemotherapy medicines to treat , such as dasatinib, mitomycin C, and cyclophosphamide
- Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to treat depression and anxiety. SSRIs may cause pulmonary arterial hypertension in newborns whose mothers have taken these medicines during pregnancy.
- Weight-loss drugs such as fenfluramine and dexfenfluramine, which are no longer approved for weight loss in the United States
Other medical conditions
Certain medical conditions may increase your risk of developing pulmonary hypertension:
- Blood clotting disorders, such as blood clots in the lungs, a higher-than-normal platelet count in your blood, and conditions that make your blood more likely to clot, such as protein S and C deficiency, factor V Leiden thrombophilia, antithrombin III deficiency, and antiphospholipid syndrome
- Chronic kidney disease
- Diseases that change the structure of the chest wall, such as scoliosis
- Infections such as hepatitis B or C
- Liver disease such as cirrhosis
- Surgical removal of the spleen
- Thyroid diseases
Pulmonary hypertension is more common in women than in men. Pulmonary hypertension with certain types of heart failure is also more common in women.