Cardiovascular risk markers in patients with primary aldosteronism: A systematic review and meta-analysis of literature studies

Pasquale Ambrosino, Roberta Lupoli, Anna Tortora, Marianna Cacciapuoti, Gelsy Arianna Lupoli, Paolo Tarantino, Aurelio Nasto, Matteo Nicola Dario Di Minno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/objectives Several studies reported an increased cardiovascular (CV) morbidity and mortality in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA). We performed a meta-analysis on the impact of PA on major markers of CV risk. Methods Studies on the relationship between PA and common carotid artery intima-media thickness (CCA-IMT), prevalence of carotid plaques, flow-mediated dilation (FMD), nitrate-mediated dilation (NMD), pulse-wave velocity (PWV), augmentation index (AIx), and ankle-brachial index (ABI) were systematically searched in the PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus and EMBASE databases. Results 12 case-control studies (445 cases, 472 controls) were included. Compared to subjects with essential hypertension (EH), PA patients showed a higher CCA-IMT (MD: 0.12 mm; 95% CI: 0.09, 0.16; P <0.00001), and a higher aortic-PWV (272 cases and 240 controls, MD: 1.39 m/s; 95% CI: 0.90, 1.87; P <0.00001). In contrast, non-significant differences were found in AIx and AIx normalized to a heart rate of 75 beats per minute (AIx@75). When compared to normotensive subjects, PA patients showed significantly higher CCA-IMT (MD: 0.16 mm; 95% CI: 0.05, 0.27; P = 0.004), aortic-PWV (MD: 3.74 m/s; 95% CI: 3.43, 4.05; P <0.00001), AIx@75 (MD: 8.59%; 95% CI: 0.69, 16.50; P = 0.03), and a significantly lower FMD (MD: - 2.52%; 95% CI: - 3.64, - 1.40; P <0.0001). Sensitivity and subgroup analyses substantially confirmed our results. Metaregression models showed that male gender, diabetes, and smoking habit impact on the observed results. Conclusions PA appears significantly associated with markers of subclinical atherosclerosis and CV risk. These findings could help establish more specific CV prevention strategies in this clinical setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-55
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2016


  • Arterial stiffness
  • Flow-mediated dilation
  • Intima-media thickness
  • Primary aldosteronism
  • Pulse-wave velocity
  • Subclinical atherosclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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