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What Causes Pulmonary Hypertension?

20 Mar 2018
| Under Disease Education, Related Conditions | Posted by

The American Thoracic Society (ATS) explains that pulmonary hypertension is diagnosed when there is “high blood pressure in the arteries going to the lung.”

When this pressure gets too high, the heart’s right ventricle doesn’t work efficiently. This results in feelings related to shortness of breath, low energy levels, and edema, which is when your tissues store too much fluid.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension, you may be wondering what causes this particular condition. Here’s what the experts have to say.

Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension

According to the ATS, the number one cause of pulmonary hypertension is a parasitic infection. However, another potential cause is living at a high altitude, which they define as 10,000 or more feet above sea level.

And, for African Americans especially, pulmonary hypertension is sometimes caused by sickle cell anemia, a disease in which the body creates red blood cells in abnormal shapes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adds that your risk of pulmonary hypertension are also increased if you have other medical conditions. These include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Connective tissue disease
  • Coronary heart disease, or coronary artery disease
  • Chronic liver disease (cirrhosis)
  • Chronic lung disease, like emphysema
  • Blood clots to the lungs

Lowering Your Risk

Based on this information, one of the best things you can do to lower your risk of pulmonary hypertension is to look out for your overall health so you don’t develop one of these other diseases.

Though some are genetic in nature, others (like cirrhosis caused by drinking and emphysema due to smoking) can potentially be prevented simply by choosing not to engage in excessive, unhealthy behaviors.

It also benefits you to control your stress and get regular physical exercise. The stronger and healthier your body, the better able it is to fight off any of these potential diseases that commonly co-occur with pulmonary hypertension.

Since altitude is another potential factor, another way to lower your risk of this condition is to live in an area that is less than 10,000 miles above sea level. Vacationing at lower altitude places can help as well.


If you or a loved one suffers from a chronic disease like COPD, emphysema, pulmonary fibrosis or other symptoms of lung disease, the Lung Institute offers a variety of cellular treatment options. Contact us today at 888-745-6697 or fill out the form to see if you qualify for cellular therapy, and find out what cellular therapy could mean for you.


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