Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a condition involving high blood pressure and structural changes in the walls of the pulmonary arteries, which are the blood vessels that connect the right side of the heart to the lungs. Affecting people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds - but most commonly found in young women of child-bearing years - the disease has historically been chronic and incurable, with a poor survival rate. PAH is often not diagnosed in a timely manner because its early symptoms can be confused with those of many other pulmonary and respiratory conditions. Symptoms include shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, dizziness, fainting, swollen ankles and legs and chest pain (especially during physical activity). With proper diagnosis, there are currently several therapies to alleviate symptoms and improve quality of life for PAH patients. The key is to find a PAH specialist and pursue immediate treatment.
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Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is an insidious disease. Symptoms may begin slowly, and even before they appear, extensive damage has caused the obstruction of small arteries leading to increased blood pressure in the lungs.