The Difficulties of Diagnosing Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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.

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