Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a chronic lung disease that occurs when your pulmonary arteries become narrowed or blocked, causing increased blood pressure in the lungs and forcing the heart to work harder. Here are some risks factors for developing PH according to the Mayo Clinic.
1. Age: The average age at diagnosis is 36, according to the American Thorasic Society, but it usually develops between the ages of 20 and 60, and can occur at any age.
2. Weight: Being overweight or obese will increase your risk of getting PH because extra weight increases the blood pressure in the lungs.
3. Family history of PH: PH can be inherited, but it may skip generations. If you have family members who have idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, you are more at risk of developing the disease.
4. Other medical complaints: Heart diseases, connective tissue diseases such as lupus and scleroderma, liver diseases, blood clotting diseases, and HIV can all increase your risk of PH.
5. Illegal drugs: Cocaine use has been linked with developing PH, as has certain diet pills. About 20 percent of deaths caused by cocaine showed lung damage due to pulmonary hypertension. Source: drugaddictiontreatment.com
6. Being female: Females develop PH two times more often than males.
7. Living at a high altitude: It’s been proven that living at a high altitude increases your risk of pulmonary hypertension because the environment contains less oxygen.
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