Study Heterogeneity and Estimation of Prevalence of Primary Aldosteronism: A Systematic Review and Meta-Regression Analysis


For health care planning and allocation of resources, realistic estimation of the prevalence of primary aldosteronism is necessary. Reported prevalences of primary aldosteronism are highly variable, possibly due to study heterogeneity. Our objective was to identify and explain heterogeneity in studies that aimed to establish the prevalence of primary aldosteronism in hypertensive patients. This study demonstrates that it is pointless to claim low or high prevalence of primary aldosteronism based on published reports. Because of the significant impact of a diagnosis of primary aldosteronism on health care resources and the necessary facilities, our findings urge for a prevalence study whose design takes into account the factors identified in the meta-regression analysis. A systematic review of 39 studies from primary care and referral centers shows that gross study heterogeneity precludes a reliable estimate of the prevalence of primary aldosteronism in hypertensive patients.

Authors: Sabine C. Käyser, Tanja Dekkers, Hans J. Groenewoud, Gert Jan van der Wilt, J. Carel Bakx, Mark C. van der Wel, Ad R. Hermus, Jacques W. Lenders, Jaap Deinum
Keywords: aldosteronism, prevalence, heterogeneity
DOI Number: 10.1210/jc.2016-1472      Publication Year: 2014

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