22 October 2021

Addressing the global burden of pulmonary hypertension

By Prof Paul A. Corris, Chief Medical Scientific Officer and Board Member PVRI and Prof Stuart Rich, Board Member PVRI.

The Pulmonary Vascular Research Institute (PVRI) is a charitable scientific organisation with a sharp focus on addressing the health needs of patients with pulmonary hypertension (PH) throughout the world. Recent work is establishing, that although pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is relatively rare, PH is common and potentially a very important player in Global Health. One of the most important first tasks, is to establish a better estimate of the Global Burden of PH in terms of morbidity and mortality and use this information to help increase the awareness of PH. The latter is a most important step to help inform Global Health Care Agencies such as WHO.

A second important task is to address health care inequalities that exist for patients with PH depending on where they live in the World. This latter task is very ambitious and will require a stepwise approach starting with “low hanging fruit.” Projects in selected low income countries are envisaged including educational programs for health care workers which provide improved access to expert care and improved availability of effective therapies.

A joint symposium with WHO is envisaged in 2023, reporting on some of the following aims and ambitions:

  1. To report the estimated prevalence of PH worldwide from the Global Burden of Disease database
  2. To help refine the estimated prevalence of PH worldwide by harmonizing and combining existing databases globally, recognising that the Global Burden of Disease database reports on death notification
  3. To discuss the impact of PH as a cardiovascular condition on morbidity and mortality
  4. To recommend a global health action plan that will
  5. Increase the awareness of PH
  6. Identify practical strategies for harmonizing the diagnosis, recognizing global healthcare disparities in technology available in low, middle, and high income countries
  7. Address the global healthcare disparities that will result in treatments that improve mortality and quality of life
  8. Begin to identify approaches towards developing preventive measures

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