Symptom Prevalence, Symptom Severity, and Health-Related Quality of Life Among Young, Middle, and Older Adults With Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension

Am J Hosp Palliat Care. 2016 Apr;33(3):214-21. doi: 10.1177/1049909114554079. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a chronic, life threatening illness that affects primarily women. The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of PAH symptoms and to determine whether there are differences in symptom severity and HRQOL in PAH symptoms among young, middle, and older adults with PAH. A cross sectional design was utilized. For all the age groups, shortness of breath (SOB) on exertion and fatigue were the two most prevalent symptoms. SOB on exertion had the highest symptom severity scores followed by fatigue for all groups. Symptom severity was significantly different among the groups for palpitations, abdominal swelling and nausea. For components of HRQOL, physical functioning worsened with age. All groups had diminished general health, role physical and vitality levels. There are some differences in symptom prevalence, symptom severity and HRQOL among young, middle and older adults. Awareness of these differences is important for healthcare providers to know and assess overtime. Palliative care should be an integral part of caring for patients with PAH.

Keywords: aging; hypertension; pulmonary; quality of life; severity; symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dyspnea / etiology
  • Dyspnea / physiopathology
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / complications
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / psychology*
  • Male
  • Mental Health
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life
  • Severity of Illness Index