Silver Spring, Md. (May 1, 2019) – The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) joins dozens of organizations around the world on World PH Day May 5 to place a spotlight on pulmonary hypertension (PH), a rare and complex, life-threatening disease that has no cure. PH or high blood pressure in the lungs affects approximately 25 million adults and children worldwide, causing symptoms that include shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain. The disease strikes individuals of all ages, anywhere, and is often misdiagnosed — for example, as asthma — leading to delays in proper diagnosis and treatment. PH forces the heart to pump extra hard to push blood through to the lungs, which can lead to right heart failure and death. Accurate, early diagnosis and access to correct treatment of PH can improve a patient’s quality of life and life expectancy.
On World PH Day, PHA helps raise awareness of the disease and the need for treatment access, resources and support for people living with PH. The 2019 World PH Day campaign features a new World PH Day logo, developed in collaboration with partnering PH organizations worldwide, as well as social media messaging to raise awareness of PH. Graphics and information on the five different types of PH as identified by the World Health Organization are a focal point of WorldPHDay.org, a website where people around the globe can learn more about PH and connect with the international PH organization closest to them.
PH can exist alone or in association with many other conditions. In the developed world, PH is most commonly associated with left heart disease. In the developing world, schistosomiasis, caused by parasitic flatworms – also known as snail fever – is the greatest cause of PH. Other PH-associated conditions and risks include connective tissue disorders, blood clots to the lungs, HIV, sickle cell anemia, COPD, sarcoidosis and living in high altitudes. It has also been associated with methamphetamine use. Without treatment, the average length of survival is under three years.
“Accessing care for persons living with PH is a global issue,” said PHA President and CEO Brad A. Wong. “Patients in many nations are not only unable to access the recognized PH treatments available in the U.S., but they also lack physicians who specialize in PH and informational resources. World PH Day is a global effort to increase awareness of the disease as well as bring attention to challenges that persons with PH face every day.”
PHA (PHAssociation.org) is the world’s oldest and largest pulmonary hypertension organization It promotes awareness, education and research to advance PH care around the world through a biennial PHA International Conference and Scientific Sessions, patient support and education, a network of PHA-accredited PH Care Centers and resources to educate medical professionals such as PHA Online University, an online PH medical journal (Advances in Pulmonary Hypertension), an online PHA Library and the upcoming PH Professional Network Symposium September 5-7 in Washington, D.C.
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country’s leading pulmonary hypertension (PH) organization. PHA’s mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH; its vision is a world without PH, empowered by hope. PHA achieves this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families, health care professionals and researchers. For more information and to learn how you can support PH patients, visit www.PHAssociation.org and connect with PHA on Twitter and Instagram @PHAssociation and on Facebook at facebook.com/PulmonaryHypertensionAssociation.