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Hypertension. 2013 Aug;62(2):331-6. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.113.01060. Epub 2013 Jun 10.

Cardiovascular complications associated with primary aldosteronism: a controlled cross-sectional study.

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Georges-Pompidou European Hospital, Hypertension Unit, Paris, France.


A higher risk of cardiovascular events has been reported in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) than in otherwise similar patients with essential hypertension (EH). However, the evidence is limited by small sample size and potential confounding factors. We, therefore, compared the prevalence of cardiovascular events in 459 patients with PA diagnosed in our hypertension unit from 2001 to 2006 and 1290 controls with EH. PA cases and EH controls were individually matched for sex, age (± 2 years), and office systolic blood pressure (± 10 mm Hg). Patients with PA and EH differed significantly in duration of hypertension, serum potassium, plasma aldosterone and plasma renin concentrations, aldosterone-to-renin ratio, and urinary aldosterone concentration (P<0.001 for all comparisons). The prevalence of electrocardiographic and echocardiographic left ventricular hypertrophy was about twice higher in patients with PA even after adjustment for hypertension duration. PA patients also had a significantly higher prevalence of coronary artery disease (adjusted odds ratio, 1.9), nonfatal myocardial infarction (adjusted odds ratio, 2.6), heart failure (adjusted odds ratio, 2.9), and atrial fibrillation (adjusted odds ratio, 5.0). The risks associated with PA were similar across levels of serum potassium and plasma aldosterone. To conclude, patients with PA are more likely to have had a cardiovascular complication at diagnosis than otherwise similar patients with EH. Target organ damage and complications disproportionate to blood pressure should be considered as an additional argument for suspecting PA in a given individual and possibly for broadening the scope of screening at the population level.


atrial fibrillation; coronary artery disease; heart failure; hyperaldosteronism; hypertension; hypertrophy, left ventricular; myocardial infarction

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