What is Pulmonary Hypertension (PH)?
- Pulmonary Hypertension is a rare but potentially fatal lung disease in which the arteries of the lungs become closed off, or scarred, resulting in high blood pressure in the lungs. There is no cure.
- Many symptoms of PH can easily be confused with common conditions such as asthma. Symptoms of PH can include: shortness of breath with minimal exertion, fatigue, dizziness or fainting, chest pain, swelling in the ankles, legs or abdomen, racing heartbeat, or blue lips.
- PH affects mainly women in their childbearing years but can strike anyone, at any age regardless of sex, race or social status.
- There may be as many as 10,000 people in Canada who have PH. The exact number is unknown because few clinical trials have been done in the area and many people are not diagnosed at the earlier stages of the disease.
- In patients with certain types of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) – the most servere form of PH – patients live on average two to three years if left untreated.
- Although PH remains an incurable disease, since 1997, six treatments have been approved in Canada. Thanks to these treatments many patients live longer and healthier lives.
To learn more about pulmonary hypertension please visit Living with PH (English and French).