What is the prevalence of hyperaldosteronism?

Updated: Sep 08, 2020
  • Author: George P Chrousos, MD, FAAP, MACP, MACE, FRCP(London); Chief Editor: Robert P Hoffman, MD  more...
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Primary hyperaldosteronism is a rare condition in children. The youngest child reported with an aldosterone-secreting adenoma was aged 3 years. Earlier use of hypokalemia as a diagnostic requirement, as advocated by some authorities, may have led to underrecognition of the contribution of primary hyperaldosteronism to hypertension.

The prevalence rate for PA in hypertensive patients varies between studies, ranging from 4.6% to 16.6% in reports using confirmatory tests to diagnose PA. [21] Patients with PA also make up 17-23% of the treatment-resistant hypertensive population. [22, 23, 24, 25, 26]

Most of the hyperaldosteronism observed in the general population is sporadic, with most cases due to bilateral adrenal hyperplasia. APAs are likely to be diagnosed earlier than IHA because they are more likely than IHA to produce early symptomatic hypertension and hypokalemia. APAs account for 40% of cases of primary hyperaldosteronism.

It is possible that the distinction between adenoma and hyperplasia is not as clear as was once assumed. In one third of cases, associated hyperplasia or nodules of the adjacent zona glomerulosa is present, implying that the adenoma may have arisen in previously hyperplastic tissue.

Inherited forms of primary hyperaldosteronism (ie, FH-I [GRA], FH-II, and a very rare form known as FH type III [FH-III]) account for approximately 1% of cases of primary hyperaldosteronism, though they are more likely to occur during childhood and adolescent years than other forms of primary hyperaldosteronism are.

Studies of secondary hyperaldosteronism have found that approximately 15% of adults who attend hypertension clinics have elevated PRA. Reliable figures for children are not readily available.

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