Ethnicity in Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: Possibilities for Novel Phenotypes in the Age of Personalized Medicine

Sarah K. Medrek, Sandeep Sahay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In the past decade and a half, the introduction of new therapeutic agents has revolutionized the management of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH). These new treatment options have improved the quality of life and survival in PAH. With an armamentarium of options available, the identification of unique phenotypes can help practitioners choose tailored treatment regimens. Experts in other cardiovascular diseases, such as congestive heart failure and hypertension, have recommended race-specific treatments in their fields based on data highlighting variations in response to therapies. With this perspective, we review evidence supporting the hypothesis that ethnicity or race plays an important role in the management of PAH. Preliminary research suggests that races/ethnicities have differences in the presentation and outcome of PAH and could respond to PAH-specific medications with varying efficacy. Genetic, physiological, and anatomic differences exist between races, particularly regarding the structure and function of the right ventricle. Unfortunately, clinical trials have not adequately included minorities, and registry data often omit inclusion of this demographic information. Further studies are needed to characterize the role that ethnicity plays in the prevalence, presentation, outcomes, and optimal treatment of PAH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-320
Number of pages11
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • ethnicity
  • phenotypes in pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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