Epidemiology of pulmonary hypertension: new data from the Swiss registry

Swiss Med Wkly. 2008 Jun 28;138(25-26):379-84. doi: 10.4414/smw.2008.11915.


Background: since 1999 data from pulmonary hypertension (PH) patients from all PH centres in Switzerland were prospectively collected. We analyse the epidemiological aspects of these data.

Methods: PH was defined as a mean pulmonary artery pressure of >25 mm Hg at rest or >30 mm Hg during exercise. Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), PH associated with lung diseases, PH due to chronic thrombotic and/or embolic disease (CTEPH), or PH due to miscellaneous disorders were registered. Data from adult patients included between January 1999 and December 2004 were analysed.

Results: 250 patients were registered (age 58 +/- 16 years, 104 (41%) males). 152 patients (61%) had PAH, 73 (29%) had CTEPH and 18 (7%) had PH associated with lung disease. Patients <50 years (32%) were more likely to have PAH than patients >50 years (76% vs. 53%, p <0.005). Twenty-four patients (10%) were lost to followup, 58 patients (26%) died and 150 (66%) survived without transplantation or thrombendarterectomy. Survivors differed from patients who died in the baseline six-minute walking distance (400 m [300-459] vs. 273 m [174-415]), the functional impairment (NYHA class III/IV 86% vs. 98%), mixed venous saturation (63% [57-68] vs. 56% [50-61]) and right atrial pressure (7 mm Hg [4-11] vs. 11 mm Hg [4-18]).

Discussion: PH is a disease affecting adults of all ages. The management of these patients in specialised centres guarantees a high quality of care. Analysis of the registry data could be an instrument for quality control and might help identify weak points in assessment and treatment of these patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / epidemiology*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulmonary Wedge Pressure / physiology
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • Switzerland / epidemiology