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Pulmonary Hypertension

Is PPH hereditary?

12/05/2007

Question:

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.

Answer:

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.

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Response by:

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