November is Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month. Pulmonary Hypertension, or PH, is a simplified name for a complex health problem - continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery in the lungs, resulting in an enlarged heart which can also lose its ability to pump. In the U.S. PH affects an estimated 100,000 people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds.
PH is underdiagnosed, as doctors often confuse the symptoms with other health conditions. These symptoms include:
* shortness of breath
* chronic fatigue
* chest pain
* bluish lips and skin
* swollen ankles and legs
Without treatment the average life expectancy is two and a half years. There is no cure, but there is hope.
The local support group is: Kentuckiana Pulmonary Hypertension Associates which meets monthly in Louisville.
Co-leaders are Hilan White, (502) 448-4720 and Kelly Bratcher (502) 447-2102
For more information about pulmonary hypertension, its causes, treatments, support groups, or other resources, visit the Pulmonary Hypertension Association's website at www.PHAAssociation.org.