Study Finds Similar Survival Rates in Idiopathic and Disease Associated Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

According to a story from Pulmonary Hypertension News, a recent study found that patients with disease-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension had similar rates of survival compared to patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. “idiopathic” means that the cause of the disease is unknown. These results were consistent, even in patient whose heart function and disease severity appeared better.

About Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a condition in which the blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs is abnormally high. The cause of pulmonary arterial hypertension is often unknown in many cases. However, there are a variety of potential causes, such as certain heritable genetic mutations, exposure to certain toxins, and drug use (ex. methamphetamine). It can also appear as a symptom or complication in a number of other diseases, such as heart disease, connective tissue disease, and infection with HIV. The arteries in the lungs are often inflamed. Symptoms of this condition include rapid heartbeat, poor exercise tolerance, shortness of breath, fainting, leg swelling, fatigue, and chest pain. Treatment may include a number of medications and surgical operations, including lung transplant. A transplant can cure the condition, but it can cause many complications. Survival rate is often only about two or three years without treatment, but the latest drugs can prolong life by several years or more. Click here to learn more about pulmonary arterial hypertension.

About The Study

The study looked at data from 51 patients who had pulmonary arterial hypertension associated with lung disease and 83 patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension. The lung disease group included 21 with interstitial lung disease, 26 with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and a handful with other conditions. These patients were older on average compared to the idiopathic group.

The patients with lung disease associated pulmonary arterial hypertension generally had better heart function and less severe hypertension, but the survival rates were still very similar. The researchers concluded that cardiac catheterization should be used earlier and more routinely in patients with lung disease associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.

These findings were originally published in the scientific journal Respiratory Medicine. Check it out here.

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