Finding a curable cause of high blood pressure

Years funded:
2018

High blood pressure (hypertension) is a major cause of stroke, heart attack, heart failure and kidney failure. 

Primary aldosteronism (PA) (a disease where too much aldosterone hormone is produced by the adrenal glands) is a potentially curable cause of hypertension that affects up to one in ten patients with hypertension. 

Unfortunately, in our community, PA is diagnosed in less than one in 200 patients with high blood pressure because most doctors do not screen for it. 

When left undiagnosed, patients develop hypertension that is difficult to control even with multiple costly drugs, leaving them more prone to strokes and heart attacks at a younger age and creating preventable health burden to society. 

This project will be the largest study in Australia to find out exactly how common PA is in our community by asking GPs to screen their hypertensive patients for PA using a simple blood test. 

We will identify people who are affected by PA at an early stage of their disease and offer effective targeted therapy or cure before permanent damage occurs. We will also raise awareness of PA among patients and doctors alike. 

If this simple screening process is found to be cost-effective, it will inform new management guidelines for the 6 million hypertensive adults in Australia and may be implemented in all GP clinics so that many more hypertensive patients can benefit from the early detection, treatment and cure of PA.

Researcher Profile

Dr Jun Yang

Institute: Monash University
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