Pulmonary hypertension is a rare disease that makes our lives restrictive and tiring

Carlos Rubio

Madrid, November 8 (EFE) – Pulmonary hypertension affects 1.6 people per 100,000 inhabitants in Spain, mainly women, which limits their ability to work or perform simple household chores due to exhaustion. Produced by a disease that is considered “rare” and becomes invisible due to delays in diagnosis.

Patients from the National Pulmonary Hypertension Association revealed this in interviews with EFE, expressing the isolation, misunderstanding and frustration they suffer from a distinctly disabling disease that causes difficulty breathing and whose first symptoms are similar to those of The FAQs are similar. Such as asthma, fatigue, stress or anxiety.

It mainly affects women between the ages of 30 and 50 (although cases are increasing in people over 60), takes a year and a half or two to diagnose, and causes the blood vessels in the lungs to worsen or destroy, making it a a chronic disease. It becomes more difficult for blood to flow properly through the lungs.

In severe cases, it can cause heart disease and shorten life expectancy.

life is exhausting

Eva García (62), president of the National Association of Arterial Hypertension since her illness began in 2007, recounts how it took her five years to be diagnosed with the disease, during which time she Feeling tired and tired almost all the time in your daily life. , which resulted in her taking consecutive sick days until she had to stop working.

It was a long medical journey, she said, during which she could barely move or climb stairs for several years and eventually became unwell, a problem her GP attributed to asthma and bronchitis attacks from smoking.

It was not until the disease was diagnosed at an advanced stage that the heart “deteriorated and enlarged” and the pulmonary arteries “calcified.”

With medication, he currently feels “slightly improved” and has “an improved quality of life,” but he’s not yet back to the life he had a few years ago.

Marcela Guillamondegui (53), a member of the association, also recounted her case, which began in 2015 with dizziness, fatigue and decompensation, which her family doctor initially classified as Due to asthma and then anxiety, until 2020, symptoms of dizziness, fatigue and decompensation developed. ECG During a work review, he noted that something was not right.

He lived a very active life, running 10 kilometers almost every day and working in a department store, but soon he began to feel like he was running out of air when he tried to exercise or climb stairs, which was a terrible feeling. Accompanied by a strong sense of oppression. to the chest.

He was lucky that with medication his condition went from severe to low risk, but he went through a journey to have a medical tribunal recognize him as fully disabled, rather than absolutely disabled, so that he could work in jobs that didn’t require manual labor. However, she was not employed by any companies again, which was partly due to her age and illness.

A little caution from family doctors

María Lázaro Salvador, coordinator of the pulmonary hypertension working group of the Spanish Society of Cardiology (SEC), said that as a rare disease, there was little vigilance among family doctors and hospital emergency services.

Therefore, in an interview with EFE, he stressed that disseminating the presence of this pathology is crucial for its early diagnosis, as it can improve the patient’s survival and quality of life.

Salvador explained that pulmonary hypertension is a “clearly disabling” disease, recalling that knowledge and treatment of pulmonary hypertension are relatively new, as it was only in the late 1990s that efforts began to be made to target this condition that mainly affects women. Drug development for diseases. Between 20 and 40 years old.

However, its overall incidence has been increasing over the past decade due to the aging of the population.

The expert highlighted advances in treatment and pharmacology that have led to “very exciting” times, allowing life expectancy to be extended, in some cases by 10 to 20 years since diagnosis.

November, the month when diseases are more apparent

During the disease outbreak months, associations and patients demand concrete programs to achieve early detection and equal access to treatment in all regions.

They also decried the barriers or delays some patients, mainly younger or with milder conditions, faced in getting disability checks from medical tribunals because at first glance they looked healthy. EFE

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