Health Disparities in Patients with Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension: A Blueprint for Action. An Official American Thoracic Society Statement

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2017 Oct 15;196(8):e32-e47. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201709-1821ST.


Background: Health disparities have a major impact in the quality of life and clinical care received by minorities in the United States. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a rare cardiopulmonary disorder that affects children and adults and that, if untreated, results in premature death. The impact of health disparities in the diagnosis, treatment, and clinical outcome of patients with PAH has not been systematically investigated.

Objectives: The specific goals of this research statement were to conduct a critical review of the literature concerning health disparities in PAH, identify major research gaps and prioritize direction for future research.

Methods: Literature searches from multiple reference databases were performed using medical subject headings and text words for pulmonary hypertension and health disparities. Members of the committee discussed the evidence and provided recommendations for future research.

Results: Few studies were found discussing the impact of health disparities in PAH. Using recent research statements focused on health disparities, the group identified six major study topics that would help address the contribution of health disparities to PAH. Representative studies in each topic were discussed and specific recommendations were made by the group concerning the most urgent questions to address in future research studies.

Conclusions: At present, there are few studies that address health disparities in PAH. Given the potential adverse impact of health disparities, we recommend that research efforts be undertaken to address the topics discussed in the document. Awareness of health disparities will likely improve advocacy efforts, public health policy and the quality of care of vulnerable populations with PAH.

Keywords: genetics; health disparities; health policy; pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antihypertensive Agents / standards*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnosis*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / drug therapy*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Societies, Medical
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Antihypertensive Agents