OBJECTIVE: The association between hyperaldosteronism and autoimmune disorders has been postulated. However, long-term incidence of a variety of new-onset autoimmune diseases (NOAD) among patients with primary aldosteronism has not been well investigated. METHODS: From Taiwan's National Health Insurance Research Database with a 23-million population insurance registry, the identification of primary aldosteronism, essential hypertension and NOAD as well as all-cause mortality were ascertained by a validated algorithm. RESULTS: From 1997 to 2009, 2319 primary aldosteronism patients without previously autoimmune disease were identified and propensity score-matched with 9276 patients with essential hypertension. Among those primary aldosteronism patients, 806 patients with aldosterone-producing adenomas (APA) were identified and matched with 3224 essential hypertension controls. NOAD incidence is augmented in primary aldosteronism patients compared with its matched essential hypertension (hazard ratio 3.82, P < 0.001, versus essential hypertension). Furthermore, NOAD incidence is also higher in APA patients compared with its matched essential hypertension (hazard ratio = 2.96, P < 0.001, versus essential hypertension). However, after a mean 8.9 years of follow-up, primary aldosteronism patients who underwent adrenalectomy (hazard ratio = 3.10, P < 0.001, versus essential hypertension) and took mineralocorticoid receptor antagonist (MRA) still had increased NOAD incidence (hazard ratio = 4.04, P < 0.001, versus essential hypertension). CONCLUSION: Primary aldosteronism patients had an augmented risk for a variety of incident NOAD and all-cause of mortality, compared with matched essential hypertension controls. Notably, the risk of incident NOAD remained increased in patients treated by adrenalectomy or MRA compared with matched essential hypertension controls. This observation supports the theory of primary aldosteronism being associated with a higher risk of multiple autoimmune diseases.
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