Clinical Differences and Outcomes between Methamphetamine-associated and Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension in the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2021 Apr;18(4):613-622. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.202007-774OC.


Rationale: Single-center studies demonstrated that methamphetamine use is associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (Meth-APAH). We used the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry to evaluate the national distribution of Meth-APAH and to compare its impact on patient-reported and clinical outcomes relative to idiopathic PAH.Objectives: To determine if patients with Meth-APAH differ from those with idiopathic PAH in demographics, regional distribution in the United States, hemodynamics, health-related quality of life, PAH-specific treatment, and health care use.Methods: The Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry is a U.S.-based prospective cohort of patients new to care at a Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center. The registry collects baseline demographics, clinical parameters, and repeated measures of health-related quality of life, World Health Organization functional class, 6-minute walk distance, therapy, and health care use. Repeated measures of functional class, health-related quality of life, type of therapy, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations were compared using generalized estimating equations.Results: Of 541 participants included, 118 had Meth-APAH; 83% of Meth-APAH arose in the western United States. The Meth-APAH group was younger and had a poorer socioeconomic status and lower cardiac index than the idiopathic PAH group, despite no difference in mean pulmonary artery pressure or pulmonary vascular resistance. The Meth-APAH group had a more advanced functional class in longitudinal models (0.22 points greater; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07 to 0.37) and worse PAH-specific (emPHasis-10) health-related quality of life (-5.4; 95% CI, -8.1 to -2.8). There was no difference in dual combination therapy; however, participants with Meth-APAH were less likely to be initiated on triple therapy (odds ratio [OR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.77) or parenteral therapy (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.24). Participants with Meth-APAH were more likely to seek care in the emergency department (incidence rate ratio, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.71 to 3.11) and more likely to be hospitalized (incidence rate ratio, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.83).Conclusions: Meth-APAH represents a unique clinical phenotype of PAH, most common in the western United States. It accounts for a notable proportion of PAH in expert centers. Assessment for methamphetamine use is necessary in patients with PAH.

Keywords: Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry; drug- and toxin-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension; health-related quality of life; idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension; methamphetamine-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension.

MeSH terms

  • Familial Primary Pulmonary Hypertension
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / chemically induced
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary* / epidemiology
  • Methamphetamine* / adverse effects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Quality of Life
  • Registries
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Methamphetamine