Key Facts No 6
Why is PAH challenging to diagnose?
The symptoms of PAH can be vague and non-specific. As a result, the disease can be mistaken for asthma or other conditions, resulting in a delay in diagnosis of up to two years.2,3. Timely diagnosis of PAH is important as, with earlier diagnosis and treatment, almost two-thirds of PAH patients can survive for longer than five years.1,2.
“I had been feeling tired for a while when I noticed that even a small amount of exercise – running for a bus or walking up a hill – left me struggling for breath. I didn’t think it was anything serious but went to get it checked out by my doctor just in case. He originally diagnosed mild asthma and it wasn’t until nearly two years later, and after things had gone from bad to worse, that I was diagnosed with PAH.” said Rosie.
- Ruiz-Cano, M et al. Comparison of Baseline Characteristics and Survival between Patients with Idiopathic and Connective Tissue Disease-related Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. J Heart Lung Transplant 2009,28:621-627
- PuckerUp4PH website http://pukerup4ph.com/about-ph.php Accessed: January 2010.
- Peacock, A. Treatment of Pulmonary Hypertension. BMJ 2003;326:835-836