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Associated Conditions

In most cases, PH is associated with another medical condition that may trigger the development of PH in the lungs. If you are currently living with one of the conditions listed below, be sure to ask your doctor about your risks of developing PH.
Click on any of the below to download an informational hand-out with more detail about risks related to PH. Conditions that increase your risk of developing PH include:

Risk Factors

Family History: When two or more family members have PH or a family member is known to have a PH-causing gene mutation.

Obesity & Obstructive Sleep Apnea: In isolation, obesity is not a risk factor for PH. However, if obesity is combined with obstructive sleep apnea (meaning that oxygen levels fall while a person is sleeping), mild PH may occur.

Gender: Idiopathic and familial PH (IPAH and FPAH) are at least 2.5 times more common in women than in men.

Pregnancy: Pregnancy does not make someone more at-risk for pulmonary hypertension. However, women who have PH - whether diagnosed or undiagnosed - may experience more severe symptoms (than before they were pregnant) and quicker disease progression. This is why PH diagnosis sometimes occurs during pregnancy.

Altitude: Living at a high altitude for years can make you more susceptible to PH. Travel at high altitudes can aggravate PH. High altitudes can also cause other pulmonary problems in some people, such as pulmonary edema.

Drugs & Toxins: Certain drugs, such as methamphetamines and the diet drug “fenphen”, are known to cause pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension may be caused by other conditions.

PH may also be idiopathic, meaning it has no known cause.