Living and Wellness Celebrate World PH Day By Pulmonary Hypertension, May 5, 2016 Each year, May 5 marks World Pulmonary Hypertension Day — the annual event when the world’s PH community raises awareness of this often misdiagnosed condition. More than 25 million people worldwide suffer from pulmonary hypertension, which is high blood pressure in the lungs’ blood vessels. What Is Pulmonary Hypertension? High blood pressure within the lungs causes the right side of your heart to work harder than it typically needs to. As a result, pulmonary hypertension is often associated with heart failure and left heart disease. Symptoms of PH include shortness of breath, chest pain, lightheadedness, and swelling of the ankles or stomach. PH affects people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Those with a family history of PH are at a higher risk of developing the condition. This chronic and life-altering diagnosis is difficult to make during a routine medical check-up. Find out more by reading our guide to pulmonary hypertension. Early diagnosis is key. The only way to receive a diagnosis is to consult with a physician or pulmonologist who specializes in treating lung diseases. About World PH Day World PH Day is a celebration of the people whose lives are affected by pulmonary hypertension — and a rallying cry for early detection, preventative treatment, and research. This year, more than 80 health organizations will take part in World PH Day awareness activities, according to WorldPHDay.org Why May 5? More than 30 years ago on this day, the first child’s death as a result of pulmonary hypertension was recorded. The child, who was from Spain, suffered from PH as a result of consuming toxic rapeseed oil. Learn More About Pulmonary Hypertension Visit the UPMC Pulmonary Hypertension Program webpage for more information on PH treatment and diagnosis.