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Pulmonary hypertension

06/15/2009 - Questions and Answers

Pulmonary hypertension

By: Novoviva webmaster

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Question

What is pulmonary hypertension, and what causes it?

 

Answer

High blood pressure in the arteries that supply the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension (PHT). There is Primary Pulmonary Hypertension ( PPH) and Secondary Pulmonary Hypertension ( SPH). In PPH the cause is unknown. If a pre-existing disease, such as a heart of lung disorder, has triggered the PHT, it's called SPH.
 

A diagnosis of PHT doesn't necessarily mean you can't have an active, fulfilling life. Still, you should consider certain measures and precautions. PHT is a lifelong illness that can be made worse by a variety of factors, such as smoking or going to high altitude. Once PHT has been diagnosed, you must seek advice about physical activity.
 

If you have PHT, you should be as active as physically possible. Physical activity can be associated with marked increases in pulmonary artery pressure. Therefore, don't do isometric exercises and activities that produce dangerous symptoms, such as chest pain or dizziness. A supervised cardiopulmonary rehabilitation program should help promote conditioning. Many patients with PHT report having "good and bad days." If you need to rest, do so.
 

The prognosis of SPH depends on the specific cause and its severity. SPH due to collagen vascular diseases like scleroderma has a similar prognosis to PPH. SPH due to chronic pulmonary embolism, when properly treated, has an excellent prognosis with little or no shortening of life expectancy. Most of the other forms of SPH fall somewhere in between.
 

The links below may be helpful to you in learning more about pulmonary hypertension

 

Related Links
American Heart Organization: Pulmonary Hypertension
Pulmonary Hypertension Association FAQs

Created on: 08/31/2004
Reviewed on: 06/15/2009

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