I am Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a consultant heart specialist in York and I believe that high quality, reliable, jargon-free information about health and disease should be freely available to everyone in the world. In this video, I wanted to talk to you about an interesting but also potentially very dangerous condition called pulmonary hypertension.
I refer to it as interesting for 3 reasons:
1) Most heart disease tends to affect older people but pulmonary hypertension can affect young people as well
2) The symptoms in the early stages can be non-specific and not dramatic and therefore may not get taken as seriously by the patient or even the doctors and therefore there may be a delay of several years before a diagnosis is made.
3) The treatment of this condition can be very effective if it started at an early stage but if the condition is missed until that point when the symptoms are very dramatic, the prognosis can be very poor because, by that time, you have missed the boat.
So I am hoping that this video may help those people who may have noticed some of the symptoms of this condition to ask for detailed assessment by a cardiologist.
What is pulmonary hypertension in the simplest sense, it means that it is harder for the heart to pump the blood into the lungs and it is therefore diagnosed by finding evidence of a higher blood pressure in the artery (which is the pulmonary artery) that takes the blood from the heart to the lungs.
The normal pressure in the pulmonary artery is generally less than 25mmHg. If the pressures in the pulmonary artery are greater than 25mmHg then a diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension is made. The higher the pressure, the more severe pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension is not a disease per se but rather the consequence of a variety of underlying disease processes (some of which I will discuss later in this video)