Primary aldosteronism in the primary care setting

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Abstract

Purpose of review

The aim of the present manuscript is to provide an overview of the most updated studies on the prevalence of primary aldosteronism in primary care and to compare these figures with the actual rate of diagnosis in clinical practice and with the prevalence of primary aldosteronism in specific subgroup of patients.

Recent findings

Over the last 20 years the clinical spectrum of low renin hypertension and primary aldosteronism has changed dramatically. Once considered only in the presence of severe hypertension and hypokalemia, it is now well known that primary aldosteronism is not uncommon even in patients with mild forms of hypertension and/or normokalemia. Moreover, recent evidence points toward a large proportion of normotensive study participants as being affected by subclinical primary aldosteronism, which represents a strong risk factor for incident hypertension. Moreover, primary aldosteronism patients are exposed to an increased risk of cardio and cerebrovascular events and metabolic comorbidities compared with patients affected by essential hypertension. Disappointingly, primary aldosteronism remains a largely underdiagnosed and undertreated disorder.

Summary

These recent findings further highlight the importance of widening the spectrum of patients who should be screened for primary aldosteronism, to reduce the cardiovascular risk associated with this medical condition.

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