The Difficulties of Diagnosing Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension


In this video from GSK, Iain Armstrong, the chairman of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association U.K., talks about pulmonary hypertension (PH) and some of the difficulties PH patients face when it comes to diagnosis.

MORE: What exactly is pulmonary hypertension?

Armstrong explains that it is very difficult to diagnose pulmonary hypertension because the initial symptoms can often be attributed to getting old, being overweight or unfit. By the time patients get around to seeing the doctor about their symptoms, the disease has often progressed significantly.

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In the U.K., the average time it takes for patients to be diagnosed with the disease is around two years. Worryingly, around half of these patients will have seen four different doctors before their symptoms are taken seriously enough for testing. The disease is also often misdiagnosed as asthma or dismissed as anxiety.

MORE: Find out how doctors diagnose pulmonary hypertension and CTEPH.

Pulmonary Hypertension News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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  1. Mrs Lynda Taylor says:

    I have been undergoing tests at Barts with a breathing problem. Pulmonary Hypertension has been mentioned but so far no results have been conclusive. I have had asthma most of my life. I am 74 years old. I have private insurance and would like now to see a specialist for this disease as my breathing is slowly getting worse and NHS appointments are very slow. Can you please recommend a specialist I could see? I live in South Hertfordshire so near to North London too.

  2. Nancy Hicks says:

    My husband has been diagnosed with PH as an echocardiogram revealed pressure in the right side of his heart of 103. Apparently a normal reading is around 25. He used to smoke and has emphysema and uses a CPAP machine for sleep apnea (with oxygen through a concentrator). Recently his feet and ankles are puffy. His B/P is 105/60 in both arms. His family doctor does not think his puffy feet are a sign of CHF, but dependent edema, and doesn’t think a diuretic is necessary. My husband puts his feet up from time to time but even after being in bed when he gets up in the morning his feet are puffy. (Going on now for a week). He has no SOB when lying down but occasionally with exertion. He had a 4 way bypass 20 years ago and has multiple PVCs on EKG. What are your thoughts?

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