what is Pulmonary Hypertension?

Who gets PH?

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnic background. It is more common in women than men.

It affects adults and children of all ages, from birth up to those in their eighties and beyond.

In most people with PH, it is associated with another medical condition. Conditions that increase your risk of developing PH include:

  • portal hypertension
  • connective tissue disease, e.g. systemic sclerosis
  • HIV infection
  • congenital heart disease
  • sickle cell anaemia

A small number of people with PH develop it without having another medical condition and for most of these people, there is no known reason behind it. This is called idiopathic PH, and is sometimes referred to as IPAH.

In very rare cases, PH can be inherited and there is research being undertaken to understand more about this.

Children and PH

Children of all ages can develop PH, from newborn upwards. PH is not the same as persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, which occurs in around two out of every 1000 births. Read more about children and PH here.

Last medically reviewed: June, 2021 • Due for review: June, 2024