Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
PH vs. PAH: What’s the Difference?
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Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a general term used to describe high blood pressure in the lungs from any cause.
Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic and currently incurable disease that causes the walls of the arteries of the lungs to tighten and stiffen. In someone with PAH, the right side of the heart has to work harder to push blood through narrowed arteries in the lungs. Eventually, the extra stress causes the heart to enlarge and become less flexible, compromising the heart’s ability to push blood out of the heart, through the lungs, and into the rest of the body.
Major Types of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension
In idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, the cause of PAH is unknown.
Heritable PAH, formerly known as familial or genetic PAH, is a form of PAH that can be inherited. Heritable PAH is relatively uncommon. Of the small percentage of people who do carry the PH gene, only a small number of carriers will develop the disease. Learn more about heritable PAH