Diagnosed with hypertension? Think aldosteronism

All newly-diagnosed hypertensive patients should be screened for primary aldosteronism before they are started on treatment, Australian experts suggest in the latest issue of the MJA.

“Primary aldosteronism is common, specifically treatable, and associated with significant cardiovascular morbidity and mortality,” say researchers Dr Jun Yang, Professor Peter Fuller and Professor Michael Stowasser.

They refer to a recent systematic review of over 30 studies, that found among a cohort of people with severe or resistant hypertension (systolic BP >180mmHg and diastolic BP >110), 16.4% were found to have primary aldosteronism.

Admittedly these studies were carried out in tertiary centres. There been far fewer studies on the issue conducted in primary care with somewhat mixed results, with one small Australian study suggesting 11.5% of people with significant hypertension in the general practice setting had primary aldosteronism.

But its not only the patients with severe hypertension that need to be considered for ...

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