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Pulmonary Hypertension

PH, high blood pressure, and RA

10/29/2007

Question:

I have RA and now I also have high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension. I have an identical twin sister that has none of that. I got RA when I was 30 and then my health has gone down hill every since. I eat healther and do my exercise then she does. So that rules out genes and lifestyle. So I am thinking that my high blood pressure and pulmonary hypertension is caused by my RA or the drugs used to treat my RA. Could it be my RA or medications?

Answer:

Thank you for the question.

I can address the issue of pulmonary hypertension. Pulmonary hypertension as an isolated problem is rarely seen in rheumatoid arthritis, however, the association has been described and this may be the case for you. More commonly, patients with rheumatoid arthritis have a scarring disease of the lung tissue itself and this can lead to the development of pulmonary hypertension.

Although some medications, such as diet drugs, have been implicated as a cause of pulmonary hypertension, it is less likely that your rheumatoid arthritis medications are causing this problem. If you are not already doing so, it might be useful for you to see a pulmonary hypertension specialist who can review all of your information and help plan your treatment.

For more information:

Go to the Pulmonary Hypertension health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Douglas W Haden, MD Douglas W Haden, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University