Leading Causes of Pulmonary Hypertension

Have you been diagnosed with this form of high blood pressure and wish to know the causes of pulmonary hypertension? Some answers here from The British Lung Foundation ...

The pulmonary artery, vein and capillaries branch from the heart and transfer blood between the heart and the lungs. Pulmonary hypertension occurs when the pulmonary vein and artery have an increased blood pressure and is a very serious, if rare, disease.


‘Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension’ is the title given to pulmonary hypotension when the cause is unknown. The disorder can be either arterial or venous, depending whether it chiefly affects the arteries or veins respectively. ‘Familial’ pulmonary hypertension has occurred having been inherited from parents or grandparents, meaning that the sufferer has a genetic predisposition towards it.

Common Causes Of Pulmonary Hypertension

The two most common causes are emphysema and bronchitis, which are both conditions that affect the lungs and raise blood pressure n the pulmonary artery and vein to the point that it begins to cause damage to the heart and lungs.

The British Lung Foundation has also found the following causes to have been related to pulmonary hypertension:

Drugs designed to help you lose weightHIVLiver diseaseBlood clots in the pulmonary artery that narrows the blood vessels therefore raising pressureCongenital or inherited heart diseases that quicken the movement of blood to and from the lungs

The causes of pulmonary hypertension can vary because the pulmonary artery is such a major channel in the body for the movement of blood. Problems with the functioning of the heart and the lungs will often put undue strain on the artery and the pulmonary vein, causing blood pressure to rise. Any medical complication that narrows the vessels carrying blood is likely to raise blood pressure because the heart is trying to pump the same volume of blood it has always moved through a much smaller space.


Like many forms of high blood pressure, symptoms are few and far between until your situation gets quite serious.

The British Lung Foundation gives the following key symptoms of pulmonary hypertension:Fainting and DizzinessChest PainFatigue and ExhaustionShortness of BreathIt’s important to note that pulmonary hypertension is a very rare disease. If you have these symptoms you should speak to your GP, but don’t panic and assume you have pulmonary hypotension! These are also symptoms of many, less serious conditions.


The Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK has been researching successful treatments for pulmonary hypertension and supporting sufferers since 2000. Since 1990, a number of new treatments such as oxygen therapy, drug therapy and surgical options such as transplants and widening of the pulmonary blood vessels have lengthened the survival rate from “approximately two to four years” to as many as 15.

Pulmonary hypertension is a very serious form of high blood pressure, but one of the few that aren’t caused primarily by living an unhealthy lifestyle. The causes of pulmonary hypertension are usually genetic, but can also be caused by other diseases or weaknesses of the heart and lungs.

Note: The pulmonary arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs

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