Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a rare lung disease characterized by increased blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries. These are the arteries that carry deoxygenated blood from a person’s heart to the lungs to pick up oxygen. As the pressure builds, the heart must work harder to pump blood through the lungs. Over time, the condition can cause heart failure.
According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, pulmonary hypertension can be divided into five different groups.
Group 1 – Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
The following cases of PAH are in group 1: inherited PAH (runs in families), idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (no known cause), PAH caused by diseases that attack the veins and blood vessels in the lungs, PAH caused by other serious medical conditions including connective tissue diseases such as scleroderma, liver disease, sickle cell disease, congenital heart disease, schistosomiasis (and parasite-caused infection) and HIV.