Primary Aldosteronism Screening Rates Differ With Sex, Race, and Comorbidities


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common but under‐recognized cause of secondary hypertension. Data directly comparing screening rates across single and overlapping indications are lacking. We conducted a retrospective review of adults with hypertension seen in outpatient clinics at a tertiary referral academic center between January 1, 2017, and June 30, 2020. We included patients with hypertension plus at least one of the following: resistant hypertension; age<35 years; obstructive sleep apnea; hypokalemia; or an adrenal mass. We excluded patients with adrenal insufficiency, severe renal disease, or heart failure, and renovascular hypertension. Of 203 535 patients with hypertension, 86044 (42.3%) met at least 1 PA screening criterion, and of these, 2898 (3.4%) were screened for PA. Screening occurred in 2.7% of patients with resistant hypertension; 4.2% of those with obstructive sleep apnea; 5.1% of those <35 years; 10.0% of those with hypokalemia; and 47.3% of patients with an adrenal mass. Screening rates were higher in patients with multiple risk factors: 16.8% for ≥3, 5.7% for 2, and 2.5% for 1 criterion. Multiple logistic regression showed that the odds of PA screening were higher in patients with hypokalemia: odds ratio (95% CI): 3.0 (2.7–3.3); women: 1.3 (1.2–1.4); Black versus White: 1.5 (1.4–1.7); those with obstructive sleep apnea, chronic renal disease, stroke, and dyslipidemia. Consideration for PA is given in a small subset of at‐risk patients, and typically after comorbidities have developed.

Authors: Adina F. Turcu, Winnie Nhan, Seda Grigoryan, Lei Zhang, Caitlin Urban, Haiping Liu, Lynn Holevinski, Lili Zhao
Keywords: screening, sex, race, comorbidities
DOI Number: 10.1161/JAHA.122.025952      Publication Year: 2022

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