The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) will be using social media throughout this month to increase awareness about issues affecting patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) within the medical community, the general public, and members of Congress.
PHA is also organizing fundraising events to support PH research and education as part of their outreach efforts recognizing November as PH Awareness Month.
The association also urges the public to reach out to their U.S. representatives to inform them of the need for government involvement in improving the quality of life for patients. More information on the different advocacy initiatives and fundraising events organized by PHA can be found on its website.
A chronic debilitating condition of the lungs, PH can occur in people of all ages. The disease is estimated to affect 25 million adults and children worldwide, but it is thought to be significantly underdiagnosed.
“Through research and education, great strides have been made in the development of treatments and drugs to help people with PH achieve their best lives possible, but it is unacceptable that so many people remain undiagnosed,” Karen A. Fagan, MD, chair of the PHA Board of Trustees and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of South Alabama, said in a press release.
Knowing the risk factors for PH will help the patient and medical community to consider PH and reduce the risk of a misdiagnosis when examining patients. These risk factors include connective tissue diseases such as lupus and scleroderma, heart disease, other lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic liver disease, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and drug abuse.
Several PH social media campaigns have been launched this month, including a PH awareness banner and a PHA frame that can be added to a person’s social media profile on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. A toolkit with guidance on how to use social media to help spread awareness is available on PHA’s website.
The association also invites people to create fundraising campaigns this month to help raise money for PH programs and research.
“There is a real need for people in the medical community as well as patients to know about PH. PH Awareness Month is a key component in expanding this knowledge base,” Fagan said.