Study Title:

United States Pulmonary Hypertension Scientific Registry: Baseline Characteristics

Study Abstract

Background: The treatment, genotyping, and phenotyping of patients with World Health Organization Group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have evolved dramatically in the last decade.

Research question: The United States Pulmonary Hypertension Scientific Registry was established as the first US PAH patient registry to investigate genetic information, reproductive histories, and environmental exposure data in a contemporary patient population.

Study design and methods: Investigators at 15 US centers enrolled consecutively screened adults diagnosed with Group 1 PAH who had enrolled in the National Biological Sample and Data Repository for PAH (PAH Biobank) within 5 years of a cardiac catheterization matching qualifying hemodynamic criteria. Exposure and reproductive histories were collected by using a structured interview and questionnaire. The biobank provided genetic data.

Results: Between 2015 and 2018, a total of 499 of 979 eligible patients with clinical diagnoses of idiopathic PAH (IPAH) or familial PAH (n = 240 [48%]), associated PAH (APAH; n = 256 [51%]), or pulmonary venoocclusive disease/pulmonary capillary hemangiomatosis (n = 3 [1%]) enrolled. The mean age was 55.8 years, average BMI was 29.2 kg/m2, and 79% were women. Mean duration between symptom onset and diagnostic catheterization was 1.9 years. Sixty-six percent of patients were treated with more than one PAH medication at enrollment. Past use of prescription weight loss drugs (16%), recreational drugs (27%), and oral contraceptive pills (77%) was common. Women often reported miscarriage (37%), although PAH was rarely diagnosed within 6 months of pregnancy (1.9%). Results of genetic testing identified pathogenic or suspected pathogenic variants in 13% of patients, reclassifying 18% of IPAH patients and 5% of APAH patients to heritable PAH.

Interpretation: Patients with Group 1 PAH remain predominately middle-aged women diagnosed with IPAH or APAH. Delays in diagnosis of PAH persist. Treatment with combinations of PAH-targeted medications is more common than in the past. Women often report pregnancy complications, as well as exposure to anorexigens, oral contraceptives, and/or recreational drugs. Results of genetic tests frequently identify unsuspected heritable PAH.

Study Information

Chest. 2020 Aug 26:S0012-3692(20)34279-3. doi: 10.1016/j.chest.2020.07.088. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32858008.

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