I'm not one of the "medical people," but someone that my husband and I know has pulmonary hypertension. I'm not a doctor, but from what I understand there is a specific "blood vessel" affected, the pulmonary artery (the one from the heart to the lungs). The pressure in the artery rises above normal levels (due to constriction? I'm not sure about this) and becomes life threatening (I think it leads to right heart failure). A lot worse than "regular" hypertension, because this person is under constant medical care. She can't walk up stairs or what not without her husband worrying about her.
Her husband and mine compared notes--I feel "lucky" that my essential hypertension isn't as bad as her pulmonary hypertension, but feel extremely bad for her and her husband. My meds regulate mine, hers apparently is very hard to keep under control and docs work at keeping her alive.
Norlisa (36), essential hypertension diagnosed before pregnancy, successfully treated with atenolol, NO preeclampsia antepartum. (post-partum preeclampsia)
DH, Gordon (38)
Joseph/Josephine Our Angel in Heaven (9/16/02)
Twins Mary Frances and Samuel (a.k.a. Frankie and Sammy) 38 2/7 weeks, 5/26/03