Why do some people have pulmonary hypertension (PH)?

There are different reasons why people have PH:

Associated (the result of a heart problem or another disease): For some people, PH may have developed as a result of a heart problem (either before or after heart surgery). This could also mean that the PH developed from another condition, such as lung disease, scleroderma or sickle cell disease.

Familial (runs in the family): Some people get PH because they carry a gene in their DNA for it. Genes tell your body what color your hair will be, how tall you’ll be, and everything else about your body. Not very many people have the gene for PH, and even if you have the gene there is only a very small chance that you'll develop PH.

Idiopathic (no known cause): This means the doctors do not know what has caused the PH. It can be frustrating, but sometimes even the doctors aren’t able to figure out why a person has PH. Doctors are working every day to learn more about why people get PH, and in the meantime there are lots of treatments to help people live with their PH.


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