Although mild pulmonary hypertension (PHT) is known to be associated with increased mortality, its impact on premature mortality is largely unknown.

We studied the distribution of estimated right ventricular systolic pressures (eRVSP) among 154 956 adults with no evidence of left heart disease investigated with echocardiography. We then examined individually linked mortality, premature mortality and associated life-years lost (LYL) according to eRVSP levels.

The cohort comprised 70 826 men (61.3±17.7 years) and 84 130 women (61.4±18.4 years). Overall, 85 173 (55.0%), 49 276 (31.8%), 13 060 (8.4%) and 7447 (4.8%) cases had an eRVSP level indicative of no (<30.0 mmHg), mild (30.0–39.9 mmHg), moderate (40.0–49.9 mmHg), or severe (≥50.0 mmHg) PHT, respectively. During median 5.7 (interquartile range 3.2–8.9) years follow-up, 38 456/154 986 (24.8%) individuals died. Compared to an eRVSP <30.0 mmHg, age and sex-adjusted hazard ratios for all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality were 1.90 (95% CI 1.84–1.96) and 1.85 (95% CI 1.74–1.97) respectively, for an eRVSP of 35.0–39.9 mmHg. Overall, 6,256 (54%) men and 7524 (55%) women died prematurely. As a proportion of all deaths, premature mortality rose from 46.7% to 79.2% among those with an eRVSP <30.0 mmHg versus ≥60.0 mmHg with a mean of 5.1 to 11.4 LYL each time. However, due to more individuals affected overall, an eRVSP of 30.0–39.9 mmHg accounted for 58% and 53% of total LYL among men (40 606/70 019 LYL) and women (47 333/88 568 LYL), respectively.

These data confirm that elevated eRVSP levels indicative of mild PHT are associated with increased risk of death. Moreover, this results in a substantive component of premature mortality/LYL that requires more proactive clinical surveillance and management.


estimated right ventricular systolic pressure, pulmonary hypertension, premature mortality, years potential life lost

Link to Publisher Version (URL)


Find in your library