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Do I Have High Blood Pressure in My Lungs?

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Blood Pressure in Lungs - infographic

Do I Have High Blood Pressure in My Lungs?

High blood pressure in the lungs is called pulmonary hypertension (PH).

PH can affect your ability to do daily chores, physical activities, sleep, thought and more.

Untreated, PH can lead to right heart failure and death.


Common Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Palpitations
  • Low oxygen levels
  • Chest pain or pressure
  • Near-fainting/fainting
  • Swelling of the ankles or abdomen
  • Heart failure (in advanced cases)
  • Shortness of breath, especially with exertion

If you have a family member with PH or if you experience symptoms that are not explained by other diseases, contact a pulmonary hypertension specialist for evaluation.



PH mimics other diseases and often goes undiagnosed.

Additional tests may be needed to confirm your diagnosis. Here are the most common diagnostic tests for PH:

  • Echocardiogram
  • Heart Catheterization


The 5 Types of PH

Types of PH Are Grouped by Cause

The World Health Organization (WHO) initially named the groups, so they are called WHO Groups.

Group 1
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)Stiffness, narrowing or scarring of the pulmonary arteries
Group 2
PH due to Left Heart DiseaseLeft side of the heart does not pump correctly
Group 3
PH due to Chronic Lung Disease and Hypoxia
Shortage of oxygen
Group 4
PH due to Chronic Arterial Obstructions (blood clots)Blood clots blocking pulmonary arteries
Group 5
PH from Unknown CausesNot well understood.


Most Patients Have PH Due to Left Heart Disease

Group 2
Left Heart Disease
Groups 2 & 3
Left Heart & Lung Disease
Group 1
Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH)
Group 3 Chronic Lung Disease & HypoxiaGroup 4 Chronic Arterial Obstructions (blood clots)Groups 2, 3 & 4 Left Heart Disease, Lung Disease & Blood Clots

Groups 2 & 4

Left Heart Disease & Blood Clots

Groups 3 & 4

Lung Disease & Blood Clots


  • Living above 8,200 feet elevation increases risk of Group 3 PH
  • Females develop PAH 2-3X more often than males
  • 46% of PAH cases are from unknown causes