Prevalence of Conn's Syndrome Lower Than Thought
Fears of an epidemic of primary hyperaldosteronism are not warranted
FRIDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- The prevalence of hyperaldosteronism, also known as Conn's syndrome, in people with hypertension is much lower than previously thought, according to a report in the June 7 issue of The Lancet.
Stella Douma, M.D., of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece, and colleagues assessed 1,616 patients with resistant hypertension who attended an outpatient clinic over a 20-year period, for presence of primary hyperaldosteronism. The ratio of serum aldosterone and plasma renin activity was calculated. Patients with a positive test (ratio greater than 65.16) underwent salt suppression tests. Findings were confirmed by response to spironolactone treatment.
The researchers found that 20.9 percent of patients had a ratio of more than 65.16 and aldosterone concentrations of more than 416 pmol/L. Salt suppression tests showed that 11.3 percent of patients had primary hyperaldosteronism, which spironolactone treatment confirmed. Hypokalemia was seen in 45.6 percent of patients with hyperaldosteronism, the report indicates.
"Our findings do not support the notion of an epidemic form of the condition, suggesting that its high prevalence in other studies could be attributed to selected populations in tertiary centers," the authors conclude. "Nevertheless, the cardiovascular consequences of primary hyperaldosteronism justify the active search for this disorder in patients with resistant hypertension."