Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) staff and medical leadership presented research findings and interacted with global health care professionals with an interest in pulmonary hypertension (PH) at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) International Conference this week in Dallas.

Michael Gray, vice president of quality care and research, shared research findings of current trends among physicians in the U.S., focusing on the awareness of diagnostic tests and management trends. A survey of 303 randomly selected U.S. physicians showed significant differences in awareness of the clinical classifications of PH and role of diagnostic tests frequently used in PH between primary care physicians and specialists in cardiology and pulmonology.

PHA research suggests that primary care physicians (PCPs) were significantly less likely to identify five distinct groups of PH, with 27% of PCPs correctly identifying a total of five groups, compared to 66% of cardiologists and 75% of pulmonologists.

In the same study, doctors were asked about diagnostic tests frequently used that can either screen for or definitively diagnose PH. PHA research shows that PCPs were significantly less likely to identify definitive tests for PH. 75% of the PCPs identified a right heart catheterization as a definitive test for PH, compared to 91% of cardiologists and 92% of pulmonologists.

For more information on this research, see the presentation on PH Awareness and Diagnostic Trends.

In the ATS exhibit hall, PHA staff interacted with global healthcare professionals with an interest in PH, providing examples of PHA patient education materials for use in their clinics. New resources included Understanding Pulmonary Hypertension; the PH& series, a collection of 13 educational brochures on PH and associated diseases and conditions; and an intimacy guide about self-image, dating and relationships: Living with PH: A Guide to Intimacy.