Deaths from pulmonary hypertension have increased over the past decade, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In the study, published online in CHEST, researchers analyzed death rates from the National Vital Statistics System and data from the National Hospital Discharge Survey between 2001 and 2010 to analyze trends in hospitalizations and death rates related to pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries, causing the right side of the heart to work harder. Common causes of pulmonary hypertension include congestive heart failure, other heart diseases, birth defects of the heart, chronic lung disease, obstructive sleep apnea, and certain autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. The risk of pulmonary hypertension increases in older patients.
"With expanding research into the diagnosis and treatment of pulmonary hypertension, it is important to provide updated statistics on this disease's impact on hospitalization and death rates," says Mary George, MD, researcher with the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention, CDC and lead author. "Increases in hospitalizations may reflect both improved recognition of pulmonary hypertension as well as an increase in treatment options."
Key findings from the study include:
"This study illustrates the importance of recognizing and diagnosing pulmonary hypertension so patients can receive proper treatment," says Richard S. Irwin, MD, Master FCCP, and editor in chief, CHEST. "It is essential information to aid clinicians in understanding the age, race, and gender differences in patients who are at risk for pulmonary hypertension."
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