At AOP Orphan, we have been contributing to research on pulmonary hypertension and providing treatment for many years already. On May 5, 2020 – The 9th World Pulmonary Hypertension Day – we especially want to help raising awareness of PH, since we believe that informing, connecting and advocating for those who are affected and involved is crucial for the well-being of patients.
World Pulmonary Hypertension Day is an annual global event to raise awareness of pulmonary hypertension (PH), a severe condition affecting the lungs and heart. On May 5, more than 80 organizations around the world participate in World PH Day activities to raise awareness of this frequently misdiagnosed disease and celebrate the lives of people living with PH.
Pulmonary hypertension is a condition in which there is high blood pressure in the lung arteries. How the disease starts is not always clear, but the arteries become narrow and there is less room for the blood to flow.
Over time, some of the arteries may stiffen and become completely blocked. The narrowing of the pulmonary arteries causes resistance to the blood flow, increasing the blood pressure. The right side of the heart has to work harder to pump blood through the arteries. This places an increasing strain on the heart, which causes it to enlarge and can lead to right heart failure.
Right heart failure is one of the most common causes of death in people who have pulmonary hypertension.
Difficulty in breathing or shortness of breath is the main early symptom of pulmonary hypertension. Other symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, swelling in the ankles or legs (edema), bluish lips and skin (cyanosis), chest pain, racing pulse and palpitations.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare type of pulmonary hypertension characterized by high blood pressure (hypertension) in the arteries of the lungs (pulmonary artery). PAH can be heritable, induced by drugs and toxins or associated with underlying diseases but also without apparent reason (“idiopathic”). The pulmonary arteries are the blood vessels that carry blood from the right side of the heart through the lungs.
Approximately 15 - 20 percent of PAH patients have familial or heritable PAH, which is caused by genetic mutations that are passed down through the family.
There is no evidence to suggest that people with underlying health conditions are at higher risk of becoming infected with the COVID-19 virus. However, there is evidence that people with underlying health conditions, including all types of heart and lung diseases, have a higher risk of developing serious illness from the COVID-19 virus if they become infected.
Click here to learn more about safety precautions that PH patient should take!