Study Identifies People with Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension at Greatest Risk of Death

Korea began its use of effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) early in 2000. Idiopathic hypertension has no apparent cause. Yet there have been very few studies assessing long-term survival and cause of death associated with IPAH. A recent article published in Pulmonary Hypertension News reports that males with low social and economic status tend to be at higher risk for IPAH.

About the Study

In preparation for an extensive statistical analysis of people with IPAH risk factors between 2006 and 2017, the researchers used the Korean National Health Insurance Service. They were able to identify data from 9,017 newly diagnosed IPAH individuals. Approximately sixty percent were females, while most males were younger with a mean age of 62.3 years.

Assessing overall mortality, the rate was 35.5%. The most common cause of death was cardiovascular disease followed by cancer and respiratory system diseases.

Further statistical analyses of the entire group were:

  • One-year survival: 89%
  • Three-year survival: 79.9%
  • Five-year survival: 72.3%
  • Ten-year survival: 57%

Further analyses of factors affecting survival outcomes pointed directly to age. IPAH patients diagnosed at age sixty averaged a ten-year survival. Patients diagnosed at age eighty or over had a fifteen percent survival rate.

It is of note that the one year and three year rates are consistent with studies conducted in the United States, Europe, and various other locations.

In the new study, the five-year survival rates were higher than reported previously. One factor proposed by the team is that the new study involved a larger number of patients who were diagnosed with more severe diseases than in previous studies.

The team credited newly developed novel medications with extending life expectancy. The researchers suggest continued surveillance when patients describe unexplained breathlessness. This will enable earlier diagnosis and treatment of IPAH.

In conclusion, the researchers found that males, low social economic status, previous heart attacks, cancer, and diabetes were factors that predicted worse survival. The team urged that future cardiovascular research policies and designs take these differences into account.

Rose Duesterwald

Rose Duesterwald

Rose became acquainted with Patient Worthy after her husband was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) six years ago. During this period of partial remission, Rose researched investigational drugs to be prepared in the event of a relapse. Her husband died February 12, 2021 with a rare and unexplained occurrence of liver cancer possibly unrelated to AML.

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