When people talk about pulmonary hypertension (PH), they’re talking about a condition where high blood pressure in the lungs leads to the narrowing of the blood vessels to the heart, causing the right side of the heart to work much harder to pump oxygenated blood back into the lungs. This can then lead to right heart failure.
There are actually five classifications of pulmonary hypertension which depend on how the disease developed and its severity. According to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association, these are:
Group 1 Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is the only classification of the disease that isn’t referred to simply as pulmonary hypertension.
It can be classed as idiopathic (without any known cause), heritable (runs in families), or can develop from abuse of narcotics or toxins or as the result of another disease such as scleroderma, lupus, or HIV.
Group 2 Pulmonary Hypertension
Patients who have developed pulmonary hypertension due to left heart disorders such as left ventricular diastolic dysfunction or valvular disease are said to have group 2 PH.
Group 3 Pulmonary Hypertension
This group refers to patients who have developed pulmonary hypertension as a secondary disease to hypoxia or another lung disorder such as COPD, interstitial lung disease, and exposure to very high altitudes.
Group 4 Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension
Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension or CTEPH can develop when blood clots form in the lungs.
Group 5 Pulmonary Hypertension due to other disorders
People may also develop pulmonary hypertension due to a variety of other diseases and conditions, which include blood disorders, metabolic disorders, thyroid disease or kidney disease.
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