Pulmonary Hypertension Prognosis
Primary pulmonary hypertension is a rare disorder whose causes just as primary hypertension are unknown. Secondary pulmonary hypertension on the other hand has known causes such as cardiac and extrathoraic conditions. The condition is so rare that it affects less than one percent of people in the United States. It terms of incidence, the disorder has 300 new cases every year in America. Some experts however indicate that the true incidence of the condition remains unknown. However its appearance goes as far back as 1891 and in 1951 nearly 40 cases were yet again reported in the United States.
It is at that time that the name for the disorder was coined. Later in the late 60s and early 70s there was a ten fold raise in unexplained pulmonary hypertension cases. This was reported in Europe. According to epidemiological data and pulmonary hypertension prognosis investigations, the raise in Europe had everything to do with side effects of a drug used to control appetite. When the drug was banned the incidence of primary pulmonary hypertension plunged.
Pulmonary hypertension prognosis studies almost led doctors to conclude that the disorder was only for young women. This is because the greatest number of incidence was reported in women between 21 and 40 years old. However, it is now known that the disease affects men and women of all ages from very young children to the elderly inclusive of racial and different ethnic background factors.
The way the disorder works is that blood pressure in the pulmonary artery is elevated to above ideal blood pressure for no apparent reason. Under normal circumstances mean pulmonary artery pressure is about 14mmHg at rest. In primary pulmonary hypertension patients mean blood pressure in the pulmonary artery is greater than 25mmHg at rest and goes up to 30mmHg during exercise.
Doctors believe that there could be one or more causes of pulmonary hypertension yet all of these causes remain a mystery. There are other factors and indicators that seem to isolate a particular group of people in terms of increased risk of suffering from the disease. Notably, people with Raynaud's disease appear to have a higher risk of developing primary pulmonary hypertension. This particular condition is brought about by blood vessels in the fingers and toes sensitive to cold.
Diet suppressants, HIV, narcotics such as cocaine and pregnancy, according to pulmonaryhypertension prognosis studies, are viable factors that trigger constriction or narrowing in the pulmonary arteries. Researchers note that between 6 and 10 percent of cases can be associated with family inheritance of the disorder.
Pulmonary Hypertension Prognosis:Course of the Disorder
It is believed that primary pulmonary hypertension begins with injury occurring to the andothelial cells a layer of cells lining small blood vessels found in the lungs. The reason why this injury occurs in the first place is unknown. The changes introduced by the injury influences the interaction between endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells in the vessel walls. This has the overall effect of narrowing the vessels. Doctors believe that this interaction eventually leads to the development of additional amounts of tissue in the walls of the pulmonary arteries.
Overtime muscle tissue appears in artery walls that normally have no muscle increasing the amount of muscle in some arteries. The prospect of some blood vessels becoming completely blocked is real. Blood clots also tend to form within smaller arteries. Primary pulmonary hypertension prognosis studies further reveal that inevitably the heart muscle will get bigger and the right ventricle of the heart expands in size due to the extra demand brought on it by the pulmonary hypertension.
At this stage there is real danger lingering of complications. Overworked and enlarged the heart's right ventricle becomes very weak possibly losing its ability to pump blood to the lungs in adequate amounts. With it right side heart failure may occur turning deadly. In terms of the progression of the disease, in some patients particularly children the disorder progresses fairly quickly. The more severe the symptoms, the more advanced the disease. It is noted that one of the first symptom is tiredness which can easily be mistaken by the patient as being out of shape.
This can progress to difficulty in breathing, dizziness, and even occasional fainting. Leg and ankles can swell a condition known medically as edema. Lips and skin can turn bluish patients can have chest pain and other symptoms that are similar to ordinary hypertension symptoms may occur. The median duration of survival after the diagnosis of primary pulmonary hypertension is just under three years. However, this figure varies quite significantly. As treatments have advanced, patients which do not have right ventricle dysfunction can even survive for up to 10 years with effective pulmonary hypertension treatment.
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