Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month Draws Attention to Life-Threatening, Often Misdiagnosed Disease

Thursday, October 24, 2019 General News
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The Pulmonary Hypertension Association's 'PHaces of Hope' campaign shares stories of those with PH, educates about the disease

SILVER SPRING, Md., Oct. 23, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Each November, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) launches a national campaign to raise awareness about pulmonary hypertension (PH), a progressive lung disease defined by high blood pressure in the lungs that can cause right heart failure and death.

In 2019, Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month focuses on promoting risk factors and symptoms by featuring "PHaces of Hope," courageous individuals who live with PH. The complex disease is thought to affect an estimated 25 million adults and children worldwide, and can occur among those with left-heart disease, along with other associated conditions such as sleep apnea, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or scleroderma, or from congestive heart issues among babies and young children. The disease is significantly underdiagnosed and misunderstood. For example, many people with PH are misdiagnosed with more common illnesses, such as asthma. Symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain, are not necessarily specific to PH and can lead to dangerous delays in a correct diagnosis.

Although no cure exists, early diagnosis and proper treatment can extend and improve a patient's quality of life. In addition, advances in treatment and a better understanding of PH have led to effective therapies, better quality of life and improved survival for many types of PH, once diagnosed.

"Although treatment options exist to help people with PH, early diagnosis is still a problem for many individuals and that is why awareness of the disease is so critical," said Karen A. Fagan, M.D., PHA Board of Trustees chair, professor of internal medicine and pharmacology, and chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Ala. "Our campaign targets awareness among those in the medical community as well as patients, since early diagnosis can lead to better outcomes."

The "PHaces of Hope" campaign celebrates a community of individuals with PH, along with their caregivers and health care professionals, who continue to inspire and empower others.

PHA asks that people in the PH community submit either a short written or video story by filling out a form at PHAssociation.org/ShareYourHope. Stories from the campaign will be shared on PHA's social media channels and on the PHA website at PHAssociation.org/PHaces.

PHA's outreach during November includes social media (including its special "PHaces of Hope" campaign), advocacy and educational components to drive awareness and ultimately a cure for PH. More information about PH, the campaign and how to spread awareness can be found at: PHAssociation.org/AwarenessMonth.

PHA is grateful for the sponsorship support provided by Actelion Pharmaceuticals U.S., Inc. for Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit patient association dedicated to the pulmonary hypertension (PH) community. Pulmonary hypertension is a rare, chronic and life-threatening disease of the lungs for which no cure currently exists. PHA's mission is to extend and improve the lives of those affected by PH. To achieve this mission, PHA engages people with PH and their families, caregivers, health care providers, and researchers worldwide who work together to advocate for the PH community, provide support to patients, caregivers and families, offer up-to-date education and information on PH, improve quality patient care, and fund and promote research. For more information, visit PHAssociation.org and connect with PHA on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

 

SOURCE Pulmonary Hypertension Association



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