Primary Aldosteronism and Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Casual Association or Pathophysiological Link?


The coexistence of aldosterone oversecretion and obstructive sleep apnea is frequently observed, especially in patients with resistant hypertension, obesity, and metabolic syndrome. Since aldosterone excess and sleep apnea are both independently associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, to investigate whether their coexistence might be attributed to common predisposing conditions, such as metabolic disorders, or to an actual pathophysiological interconnection appears of great importance. Fluid overload and metabolic abnormalities relating to aldosterone over-secretion may be implicated in obstructive sleep apnea development. Nocturnal intermittent hypoxia may in turn exacerbate renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activity, thus leading to hyperaldosteronism. Furthermore, fat tissue excess and adipocyte secretory products might predispose to both sleep apnea and aldosterone over-secretion in subjects with obesity. Consistent with these evidences, obstructive sleep apnea frequently affects patients with primary aldosteronism. Conversely, whether primary aldosteronism is more prevalent in individuals affected by obstructive sleep apnea compared to the general population remains controversial.

Authors: Alessio Pecori, Fabrizio Buffolo, Jacopo Pieroni, Vittorio Forestiero, Elisa Sconfienza, Franco Veglio, Paolo Mulatero, Silvia Monticone
Keywords: aldosterone, sleep disorders, obesity, metabolic syndrome, apnea, hypopnea index, leptin
DOI Number: 10.1055/a-1133-7255      Publication Year: 2020

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