Penn Study: Women with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension Have Greater Response to Treatment Than Men

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Media Contact:Jessica Mikulski | jessica.mikulski@uphs.upenn.edu | 215-349-8369 September 27, 2011

PHILADELPHIA —Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) patients of different sexes and races may respond differently to treatment with commonly used medications for the disease, says a new study from researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.The results of the study are published online ahead of print in the journal CHEST.

"Over the past decade, treatment outcomes have improved for PAH patients as a group, but little is known about which patients are most likely to respond to specific treatments," said senior study author Scott Halpern, MD, PhD, MBE, assistant professor of Medicine and Epidemiology. "Our research has shown for the first time that differences in the behavior of the disease between men and women and between whites and blacks may lead to differences in patients’ responses to treatment with commonly used PAH oral medications."

PAH is a disease in which the blood pressure in a patient's lungs becomes dangerously high. That high blood pressure puts a strain on the heart, leading to shortness of breath, leg swelling, and chest pain. PAH worsens over time and can be fatal.

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