Long-Term Health Outcomes in High-Altitude Pulmonary Hypertension

Jeffrey C. Robinson, Cheryl Abbott, Christina A. Meadows, Robert C. Roach, Benjamin Honigman, Todd M. Bull

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Robinson, Jeffrey C., Cheryl Abbott, Christina A. Meadows, Robert C. Roach, Benjamin Honigman, and Todd M. Bull. Long-term health outcomes in high-altitude pulmonary hypertension. High Alt Med Biol. 18:61-66, 2017. Background: High-altitude pulmonary hypertension (HAPH) is one of several known comorbidities that effect populations living at high altitude, but there have been no studies looking at long-term health consequences of HAPH. We aimed to determine whether HAPH during adolescence predisposes to significant pulmonary hypertension (PH) later in life, as well as identify how altitude exposure and HAPH correlate with functional class and medical comorbidities. Methods: We utilized a previously published cohort of 28 adolescents from Leadville, Colorado, that underwent right heart catheterization at 10,150 ft (3094 m) in 1962, with many demonstrating PH as defined by resting mean pulmonary arterial pressure ≥25 mmHg. We located participants of the original study and had living subjects complete demographic and health surveys to assess for the presence of PH and other medical comorbidities, along with current functional status. Results: Seventy-five percent of the individuals who participated in the original study were located. Those with HAPH in the past were more prone to have exertional limitation corresponding to WHO functional class >1. Fifty-five years following the original study, we found no significant differences in prevalence of medical comorbidities, including PH, among those with and without HAPH in their youth. Conclusions: Surveyed individuals did not report significant PH, but those with HAPH in their youth were more likely to report functional limitation. With a significant worldwide population living at moderate and high altitudes, further study of long-term health consequences is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-66
Number of pages6
JournalHigh Altitude Medicine and Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • high-altitude population health
  • high-altitude pulmonary hypertension
  • hypoxic pulmonary hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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