Clinical differences and outcomes between methamphetamine-associated and idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension in the pulmonary hypertension association registry

the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Rationale: Single-center studies demonstrated that methamphetamine use is associated with pulmonary arterial hypertension (Meth-APAH). We used the Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry to evaluate the national distribution of Meth-APAH and to compare its impact on patient-reported and clinical outcomes relative to idiopathic PAH. Objectives: To determine if patients with Meth-APAH differ from those with idiopathic PAH in demographics, regional distribution in the United States, hemodynamics, health-related quality of life, PAH-specific treatment, and health care use. Methods: The Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry is a U.S.-based prospective cohort of patients new to care at a Pulmonary Hypertension Care Center. The registry collects baseline demographics, clinical parameters, and repeated measures of health-related quality of life, World Health Organization functional class, 6-minute walk distance, therapy, and health care use. Repeated measures of functional class, health-related quality of life, type of therapy, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations were compared using generalized estimating equations. Results: Of 541 participants included, 118 had Meth-APAH; 83% of Meth-APAH arose in the western United States. The Meth-APAH group was younger and had a poorer socioeconomic status and lower cardiac index than the idiopathic PAH group, despite no difference in mean pulmonary artery pressure or pulmonary vascular resistance. The Meth-APAH group had a more advanced functional class in longitudinal models (0.22 points greater; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.07 to 0.37) and worse PAH-specific (emPHasis-10) health-related quality of life (25.4; 95% CI, 28.1 to 22.8). There was no difference in dual combination therapy; however, participants with Meth-APAH were less likely to be initiated on triple therapy (odds ratio [OR], 0.43; 95% CI, 0.24 to 0.77) or parenteral therapy (OR, 0.10; 95% CI, 0.04 to 0.24). Participants with Meth-APAH were more likely to seek care in the emergency department (incidence rate ratio, 2.30; 95% CI, 1.71 to 3.11) and more likely to be hospitalized (incidence rate ratio, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.83). Conclusions: Meth-APAH represents a unique clinical phenotype of PAH, most common in the western United States. It accounts for a notable proportion of PAH in expert centers. Assessment for methamphetamine use is necessary in patients with PAH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)613-622
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the American Thoracic Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Drug- and toxin-induced pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Health-related quality of life
  • Idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Methamphetamine-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • Pulmonary Hypertension Association Registry


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