High prevalence of diabetes in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) associated with subclinical hypercortisolism and prediabetes more prevalent in bilateral than unilateral PA: A large, multicenter cohort study in Japan

behalf of the Japan Primary Aldosteronism Study Group

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OBJECTIVE To investigate the prevalence and causes of diabetes in patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) in a multi-institutional cohort study in Japan. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS The prevalence of diabetes was determined in 2,210 patients with PA (diagnosed or glycated hemoglobin [HbA 1c ] ‡6.5% [‡48 mmol/mol]; NGSP) and compared with that of the Japanese general population according to age and sex. In 1,386 patients with PA and clear laterality (unilateral or bilateral), the effects of plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC), hypokalemia (<3.5 mEq/L), suspected subclinical hypercortisolism (SH; serum cortisol ‡1.8 mg/dL after 1-mg dexamethasone suppression test), and PA laterality on the prevalence of diabetes or prediabetes (5.7% £ HbA 1c <6.5% [39 mmol/mol £ HbA 1c <48 mmol/mol]) were examined. RESULTS Of the 2,210 patients with PA, 477 (21.6%) had diabetes. This prevalence is higher than that in the general population (12.1%) or in 10-year cohorts aged 30–69 years. Logistic regression or x 2 test revealed a significant contribution of suspected SH to diabetes. Despite more active PA profiles (e.g., higher PAC and lower potassium concentrations) in unilateral than bilateral PA, BMI and HbA 1c values were significantly higher in bilateral PA. PA laterality had no effect on the prevalence of diabetes; however, the prevalence of prediabetes was significantly higher in bilateral than unilateral PA. CONCLUSIONS Individuals with PA have a high prevalence of diabetes, which is associated mainly with SH. The prevalence of prediabetes is greater for bilateral than unilateral PA, suggesting a unique metabolic cause of bilateral PA.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)938-945
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 May 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialised Nursing

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