Patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) have a poor quality of life, especially in the domain of physical functioning but less so in the psychological functioning domain. This is according to the results of a systematic review and meta-analysis that aimed to summarize the available evidence about the quality of life of PAH patients.

The study, which was published in European Review for Medical and Pharmacological Sciences, further showed that patients also suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, and sleep disorders.

“[Quality of life] may be improved by therapeutic interventions, mainly pharmaceutical ones,” wrote Kathie Sarzyńska and the co-authors of the study. 

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With advances in treatment, the survival of PAH patients has increased in recent years. However, research has shown that patients’ quality of life deteriorates as the disease progresses. As a result, the focus of PAH therapies has grown from increasing survival to also include improving quality of life.

The Prognosis for Patients With PAH Is Improving, but Early Detection Is Key

In order to summarize the evidence available to assess PAH patients’ quality of life, the researchers conducted a systematic search of the literature to identify studies that evaluated the quality of life of PAH patients at baseline and at 12 weeks. They identified 11 such studies and found that the mean physical component score of patients across studies was 37.2 points, while the mean mental component score was 46.38 points.

“The result indicates improved QoL 12 weeks after the intervention, though three papers did not fully confirm this,” the researchers wrote.

The results also showed that the greatest improvement in quality of life was seen in patients treated with bosentan and iloprost. In contrast, the smallest improvement was seen in those treated with epoprostenol sodium.

PAH is a rare, progressive disease affecting around 15 to 50 people per million every year. There are 14 drugs that have been approved for the treatment of patients with PAH.


Sarzyńska K, Świątoniowska-Lonc N, Dudek K, et al. Quality of life of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension: a meta-analysis. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2021;25(15):4983-4998. doi:10.26355/eurrev_202108_26455