Pulmonary Hypertension can impact the entire body due to oxygen starvation

by Media Xpose

Pulmonary Hypertension (PH) is not simply a form of high blood pressure, plainly speaking. It is a condition that could impact the entire body, warned Medical Affairs Director at Janssen South Africa, Moustafa Kamel.

There are five groups of PH, including Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH) (1), which is a serious progressive disease with no cure,

and can lead to heart failure and early death. (2)(3)

Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension impacts the arteries, the lungs, and the heart. It causes the walls of the pulmonary arteries (blood vessels leading from the right side of the heart to the lungs) to become thick and stiff, narrowing the space for blood to flow, which increases pulmonary blood pressure. (4)(5) The heart ends up working harder to pump blood to the lungs, and the lungs experience significant blood pressure increase. Excessive workout caused by PH can see it enlarge, tire, and eventually fail. (6)

November is PH Awareness Month and, said Kamel, the importance of regular medical checkups cannot be underestimated. There are no symptoms specific to the disease and can affect young and older people. He said: “Signs and symptoms can develop over time, and you may not even notice them. It only gets worse as the disease progresses.”

It is estimated that PH may affect one in every 100 people on the planet. And this translates to between fifty and seventy million people already living with PH. In older adults, over the age of 65, the ration thins to one in ten adults. Kamel noted that research suggests that people diagnosed with PH will grow over the coming decades. (7)

Signs to look out for include blue lips and skin, dizziness or fainting spells, fatigue, chest pains or a feeling of pressure, shortness of breath and swelling in ankles, the belly area and abdomen, as well as the legs. (6)

Kamel said that PH is hereditary in some instances while environmental factors and lifestyle can bring about its onset too. He said: “People with a family history of PH should be extra aware of the risks that they face but evidence shows that lifestyle factors like being overweight, smoking and the use of narcotics like cocaine and methamphetamine can bring it about, too. Pre-existing medical conditions like kidney disease, amongst others, can also bring PH about. Living at high altitude, work and related environmental stresses, and pressures could also become triggers.” (6)

Kamel said: “Early detection is the key to an extended an improved quality of life. There is no cure for the condition but, a medically managed patient can also enjoy a better quality of life once in receipt of regular treatment.” A full resource guide is available on: https://www.janssenwithme.com/en/pulmonary-arterial-hypertension

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