United States Pulmonary Hypertension Scientific Registry: Baseline Characteristics

USPHSR Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


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 demonstrating 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-327
Number of pages17
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • estrogens
  • genetics
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • sex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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