National campaign launched to raise awareness of life threatening condition

14 November 2016

A national campaign to raise awareness of the serious lung condition pulmonary hypertension (PH) has been launched.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association UK (PHA UK) has developed ‘PH Awareness Week 2016’ (November 19th – 27th) to encourage conversations about what it feels like to live with the disease.

Pulmonary hypertension is a serious condition that causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels connecting the heart and lungs. It’s very rare, affecting just 7,000 people in the UK. People can be born with PH or develop it at any time and it can affect anyone, regardless of age or ethnic background. It affects more women than men.

Symptoms typically involve breathlessness, fatigue, black-outs and swelling around the ankles, arms and stomach. PH affects the ability to carry out basic tasks and get around. Living with the condition can have a significant impact on emotional well-being.

People with PH particularly worry about the future as the disease can put increasing strain on the heart and lead to irreversible damage and heart failure.

Thanks to a range of highly advanced treatments developed over the last 15 years, people with PH have seen quality of life improve and life expectancy double to around six to seven years on average, with many living longer. But there is no cure. A few people with PH undergo heart and lung transplants.

Iain Armstrong, Chair of PHA UK, said: “PH is a life-limiting and life-threatening disease, but people with the condition often look well at rest and it’s only through a simple activity such as climbing the stairs that they may experience symptoms.

“Our members often tell us how frustrating it is to have an ‘invisible illness’ which most people just don’t see and recognise it as serious. They tell us how much it would help if more people were aware of it. They also say that they find it hard to talk about how PH makes them feel with friends and family.

“So, we put together this awareness week to help them start conversations. And the more people that know about PH, the more understanding there will be for those with the condition.”

PH Awareness Week will run from November 19th until 27th 2016.

PHA UK is the only charity in the UK dedicated to supporting the PH community made up of patients, their family and carers and NHS professionals too. It provides information, support and advice; and funds thousands of pounds worth of medical research and health education initiatives to promote better awareness, diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

There are nine NHS specialist PH centres based within hospitals in the United Kingdom.

To find out more about PH, visit www.phauk.org.  

 

Notes to editor

Image shows Iain Armstrong, Chair of PHA UK

Iain is available for interview, to arrange please contact Mary Ferguson on 01226 766900 or at mary@capitalbmedia.co.uk

The social media hashtags #PHWeekUK and #LetsTalkPH are being used to promote PH Awareness Week 2016.

For further information about PH visit www.phauk.org, call the PHA UK office on 01709 761450 or e-mail office@phauk.org.  

PHA UK is a registered charity no: 1120756

This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk 

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