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Your Voice Is Your Power

In the fight against Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH), your voice matters. Learning more about PAH can help you speak up and partner with your healthcare provider. Because when you advocate for yourself, you get the most out of your visits to the doctor.

Know What You’re Up Against

PAH causes high blood pressure in the blood vessels that connect the heart and lungs.1

What are pulmonary arteries?

How does PAH affect your body?

What are
pulmonary arteries?

Pulmonary arteries help carry blood from your heart to your lungs. Healthy blood vessels are open and elastic. This means that the right side of your heart easily pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs where the blood picks up oxygen.

How does PAH
affect your body?

With PAH, there are changes in the body which cause the pulmonary arteries to become stiff and thick, so blood cannot flow easily. This causes constant high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries.1 High blood pressure means that the right side of the heart must work harder to pump blood. This can make the muscles in your heart thicken, enlarging its right side and forcing it to work even harder.2

What are pulmonary arteries?

Pulmonary arteries help carry blood from your heart to your lungs. Healthy blood vessels are open and elastic. This means that the right side of your heart easily pumps oxygen-poor blood through the pulmonary arteries to the lungs where the blood picks up oxygen.

How does PAH affect your body?

With PAH, there are changes in the body which cause the pulmonary arteries to become stiff and thick, so blood cannot flow easily. This causes constant high blood pressure in the pulmonary arteries.1 High blood pressure means that the right side of the heart must work harder to pump blood. This can make the muscles in your heart thicken, enlarging its right side and forcing it to work even harder.2

Over time, your PAH can progress, making the strain on your heart and lungs worse.4 But you don’t need to take it on in silence. Ask your healthcare provider about the importance of having regular check-ins with your healthcare team about your management plan.

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Understand PAH Over Time

The strain PAH takes on your heart and lungs can cause symptoms like:1

SHORTNESS OF BREATH •  SWOLLEN ANKLES OR LEGS •  CHEST PAIN •  TIREDNESS •  DIZZINESS

 • SHORTNESS OF BREATH
 •  SWOLLEN ANKLES OR LEGS
 •  CHEST PAIN  •  TIREDNESS
 •  DIZZINESS

These symptoms may feel mild at first but can get worse over time, with changes occurring in the heart and arteries.3 Remember, even when symptoms seem stable, your PAH may be changing.4

Your doctor can monitor several PAH data points to determine how your PAH is changing. These may include:6

HEART RATE  •  BLOOD PRESSURE •  BNP/NT-proBNP (MEASURED VIA BLOOD TEST)
eGFR (MEASURED VIA BLOOD TEST) •  WHO FUNCTIONAL CLASS •  6-MINUTE WALK TEST

 • HEART RATE
 •  BLOOD PRESSURE
 •  BNP/NT-proBNP (MEASURED VIA BLOOD TEST)
 •  eGFR (MEASURED VIA BLOOD TEST)
 •  WHO FUNCTIONAL CLASS
 •  6-MINUTE WALK TEST

Although PAH is progressive,1 you can work with your healthcare team on a treatment plan to delay progression as much as possible.

"It’s about mentality, not physicality.
Don’t let PAH change the course
that you want to take."

- Hollie, real patient

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Know Your Treatment Options

PAH can cause imbalances in three naturally occurring substances in your body, which can lead to the strain on your heart and lungs. These substances are called endothelin, prostacyclin, and nitric oxide, and they define the three key pathways that can affect PAH.1

Too much endothelin can cause blood vessels to narrow and tighten1

The body may not make enough prostacyclin to keep arteries open1

The body may not have enough nitric oxide to keep arteries from getting stiff1

There are medications available that target each of these three key pathways, and it is possible to treat more than one pathway.5 ‍Work with your healthcare team to understand what pathways your treatment plan includes to make sure you’re treating PAH as comprehensively as possible. You should also discuss tracking your PAH status with your care team to ensure management decisions are made with as much information as possible.

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When you’re living with PAH, speaking out means knowing your status and taking an active role.

Taking on your PAH starts by speaking up, having honest conversations with your healthcare provider, working with them to set treatment goals, and monitoring changes to your PAH. It’s also useful to record and track your symptoms so you can share this data with your care team. This collected data can help you and your doctor understand your PAH status and inform your future management plan. Here’s a little more information about your PAH status changes, how tracking can help, and the role played by structured evaluations.

ABOUT PAH STATUS

Your PAH status gives you and your care team a snapshot of how you’re doing. Your PAH status is primarily informed by a structured evaluation, which can include multiple non-invasive tests like a 6-Minute Walk Test and systolic blood pressure.6 Also known as risk assessments, structured evaluations are used alongside patient-reported data, like how you feel on any given day, to give you and your care team a snapshot of how your PAH is doing.5

HOW TRACKING CAN HELP

Your plan may include data you can track on your own, like heart rate or blood pressure, as well as additional data from tests your doctor can run like blood tests.6 Keeping track of all your PAH data in one place and sharing it with your care team can give you both a better understanding of how PAH uniquely affects you and allows you to better advocate for yourself.

STRUCTURED EVALUATIONS

A structured evaluation is a set of tests and measures that can help your care team get a more objective understanding of your PAH. Structured evaluations should be conducted by your care team every 3-6 months.5 A common type of structured evaluation consists of six tests, including systolic blood pressure, heart rate, 6-Minute Walk Test (6MWT), BNP, eGFR, and WHO Functional Class.6

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PAH is complicated.1
Tracking your PAH data doesn’t have to be.

It can often be difficult to remember everything that happened between doctor visits, particularly symptoms you’ve experienced and how you’ve been feeling on a day-to-day basis. Using the tools within Care4Today® Connect to track these experiences can help empower you to take an active role in your health — and by sharing your PAH data with your doctor you can help ensure you receive data-driven care. Care4Today® Connect can help you:

DETERMINE WHAT TO TRACK

Care4Today® Connect allows you to input and track data from tests your doctor may run like BNP/NT-proBNP and eGFR (both measured via blood test), WHO Functional Class, and blood pressure.6 The app also allows you to track things you can monitor on your own, like mood and weight. These inputs can help your doctor determine your PAH status and give you a better understanding of your overall health. Talk to your doctor about which trackers may be the most helpful for you.

SET A GOAL

Setting realistic goals with your doctor can help you focus on what matters most to you and provide motivation throughout your treatment. With Care4Today® Connect you can set reminders and stay connected to your goals.

SHARE WHAT YOU LEARN

You can view your trends within Care4Today® Connect. This information can be helpful to share with your doctor as they work towards determining a management plan for you.

FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

Some patients use Care4Today® Connect for tracking and others prefer tracking by hand in a patient journal. What’s important is creating a system that works best for you.

Track with the Care4Today® Connect App and enter code PAH

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Join Our Community

Sign up today for information and educational resources to help support and empower you as you start your PAH journey. You’ll receive information about PAH, ways to partner with your doctor and advocate for your care, and much more – delivered right to your inbox. It will just take a minute or two.

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Speaking Out Takes Support

Here are some resources to help during your PAH journey.