5 Groups of Pulmonary Hypertension

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by Wendy Henderson |

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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.

Discover more about pulmonary arterial hypertension here.

Group 2 – Left Heart Conditions


This group includes pulmonary hypertension cases  caused by health issues which affect the left side of the heart. This includes high blood pressure over a long period of time and mitral valve disease.  These are thought to be the most common reasons for developing pulmonary hypertension.

Study find PH caused by left heart disease has several markers. Read more here.

Group 3 – Other Lung Conditions


Having another lung condition can often bring about pulmonary hypertension. The conditions include chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and other interstitial lung conditions that create scarring on the lungs.  Sleep apnea associated PH also belongs in this group.

Read more about how sleep apnea and pulmonary hypertension here.

Group 4 – Chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension (CTEPH)


Pulmonary hypertension can often be caused by blood clotting diseases or blood clots in the lungs, often as a result of deep vein thrombosis.

Study finds CTEPH is underdiagnosed, survey reveals greater need for doctor awareness. Read more here.

Group 5 – Other diseases


Other diseases can cause pulmonary hypertension. They include, kidney diseases, systemic disorders that involve different organs such as vasculitis and sarcoidosis, metabolic conditions such as glycogen storage disease and thyroid disease, blood disorders such as thrombocythemia and polycythemia.  In addition, tumors that press against the pulmonary arteries can also lead to PH.

Researchers investigated the link between thyroid gland function and pulmonary hypertension, finding subclinical hypothyroidism in almost half of patients observed. Read more here.

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.