Prevalence of Pulmonary Hypertension in the General Population: The Rotterdam Study

Eduardo Martelli Moreira, H Gall, Maarten Leening, Lies Lahousse, Daan Loth, Bouwe Krijthe, Jessica Jong, Guy Brusselle, Bert Hofman, Bruno Stricker, HA Ghofrani, OH Franco Duran, Janine Felix

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Background Pulmonary hypertension is characterized by increased pulmonary artery pressure and carries an increased mortality. Population-based studies into pulmonary hypertension are scarce and little is known about its prevalence in the general population. We aimed to describe the distribution of echocardiographically-assessed pulmonary artery systolic pressure (ePASP) in the general population, to estimate the prevalence of pulmonary hypertension, and to identify associated factors. Methods Participants (n = 3381, mean age 76.4 years, 59% women) from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort, underwent echocardiography. Echocardiographic pulmonary hypertension was defined as ePASP>40 mmHg. Results Mean ePASP was 26.3 mmHg (SD 7.0). Prevalence of echocardiographic pulmonary hypertension was 2.6% (95%CI: 2.0; 3.2). Prevalence was higher in older participants compared to younger ones (8.3% in those over 85 years versus 0.8% in those between 65 and 70), and in those with underlying disorders versus those without (5.9% in subjects with COPD versus 2.3%; 9.2% in those with left ventricular systolic dysfunction versus 2.3%; 23.1% in stages 3 or 4 left ventricular diastolic dysfunction versus 1.9% in normal or stage 1). Factors independently associated with higher ePASP were older age, higher BMI, left ventricular diastolic dysfunction, COPD and systemic hypertension. Conclusion In this large population-based study, we show that pulmonary hypertension as measured by echocardiography has a low prevalence in the overall general population in the Netherlands, but estimates may be higher in specific subgroups, especially in those with underlying diseases. Increased pulmonary arterial pressure is likely to gain importance in the near future due to population aging and the accompanying prevalences of underlying disorders.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Article numbere0130072
JournalPLoS One (print)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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