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Friday, August 1, 2014
Is PPH hereditary?
My mother was diagnosed with PPH a few months ago at the age of 60. Her father suffered from asthma and emphysema. Now I am wondering if I should seek medical attention for slight episodes of shortness of breath and occasional numbness in my left hand.
Thank you for your question.
A small percentage of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension are found to have familial pulmonary arterial hypertension and genetic predisposition to the disease is well-described. New episodes of shortness of breath in any patient are always concerning and should be evaluated by a physician. While it is likely that the shortness of breath is caused by something other than pulmonary hypertension, given you family history, this should be a consideration during the medical evaluation.
Douglas W Haden, MD
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University