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.