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The Global Spectrum of Pulmonary Hypertension and its Forgotten Impact in the Developing World

Ghazwan Butrous


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Conference: 2012 International PHA Conference and Scientific Sessions

Release Date: 01.15.2013

Presentation Type: General Sessions

Global Impact of PHIn this session from PHA's 10th International Conference and Scientific Sessions, Dr. Ghazwan Butrous discusses the scope of pulmonary vascular diseases worldwide as well as the challenges of treating pulmonary vascular diseases in the developing world.


Ghazwan Butrous

Managing Director
Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute
Canterbury, United Kingdom

Learning Objectives:

  • Discuss the scope of the pulmonary vascular diseases worldwide and in particular developing world
  • Evaluate the difference in the presentation and management of pulmonary vascular diseases between the developed and developing world
  • Discuss the steps to increase awareness and the international collaboration to support patients in the developing world with pulmonary hypertension


Pulmonary vascular diseases are not solely a disease of the developed world; they are, in fact, more common in the developing world. We do not know exactly the global impact of this condition. It is estimated that 12-25 millionpeople worldwide suffer from the consequences of this ailment. The majority are unrecognized and untreated. We even do not know the full clinical, social and economic cost.

Currently the concentration is on pulmonary hypertension, mainly idiopathic and secondary to connective and congenital heart diseases. However, in the developed world this condition is often associated with diseases that are more prevalent there, i.e., rheumatic heart disease; late management of congenital heart disease; hypoxia due to either poor sanitation or high altitude; and most importantly, infectious diseases. Schistosomiasis affects 200-300 million people worldwide. Pulmonary vascular diseases are now a well-recognized complication of this condition; it is estimated that 2-10% of these patients may suffer from pulmonary hypertension. HIV is also a well known cause of pulmonary hypertension. It may affect 0.5-2% of the patients in the developed world, but its impact in the developing world is still far from clear. Many other forms of infections endemic in many parts of the world have been reported to cause pulmonary vascular diseases. Furthermore, other conditions relevant to the developing worldlike hemoglobinopathies contribute to the development of pulmonary vascular diseases. Additionally, the existing co-morbidities with all these conditions can complicate the picture and make pulmonary vascular diseases and pulmonary hypertension a condition that need to be reckoned with, in order to improve the health and well-being of the population of the world.



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