There have been several clinical studies examining the factors associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA); however, their results have left it unclear whether CVD is affected by the plasma aldosterone concentration or hypokalemia. We assessed the PA database established by the multicenter JPAS (Japan Primary Aldosteronism Study) and compared the prevalence of CVD among patients with PA with that among age-, sex-, and blood pressure-matched essential hypertension patients and participants with hypertension in a general population cohort. We also performed binary logistic regression analysis to determine which parameters significantly increased the odds ratio for CVD. Of the 2582 patients with PA studied, the prevalence of CVD, including stroke (cerebral infarction, cerebral hemorrhage, or subarachnoid hemorrhage), ischemic heart disease (myocardial infarction or angina pectoris), and heart failure, was 9.4% (stroke, 7.4%; ischemic heart disease, 2.1%; and heart failure, 0.6%). The prevalence of CVD, especially stroke, was higher among the patients with PA than those with essential hypertension/ hypertension. Hypokalemia (K+ ≤3.5 mEq/L) and the unilateral subtype significantly increased adjusted odds ratios for CVD. Although aldosterone levels were not linearly related to the adjusted odds ratio for CVD, patients with plasma aldosterone concentrations ≥125 pg/mL had significantly higher adjusted odds ratios for CVD than those with plasma aldosterone concentrations <125 pg/mL. Thus, patients with PA seem to be at a higher risk of developing CVD than patients with essential hypertension. Moreover, patients with PA presenting with hypokalemia, the unilateral subtype, or plasma aldosterone concentration ≥125 pg/mL are at a greater risk of CVD and have a greater need for PA-specific treatments than others.
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