Cost-Effectiveness of Screening for Primary Aldosteronism and Subtype Diagnosis in the Resistant Hypertensive Patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a common and underdiagnosed disease with significant morbidity potentially cured by surgery. We aim to assess if the long-term cardiovascular benefits of identifying and treating surgically correctable PA outweigh the upfront increased costs in patients at the time patients are diagnosed with resistant hypertension (RH).

Methods and results

A decision-analytic model compares aggregate costs and systolic blood pressure changes of 6 recommended or implemented diagnostic strategies for PA in a simulated population of at-risk RH patients. We also evaluate a 7th "treat all" strategy wherein all patients with RH are treated with a mineralocorticoid-receptor antagonist without further testing at RH diagnosis. Changes in systolic blood pressure are subsequently converted into gains in quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) by applying National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data on concomitant risk factors to an existing cardiovascular disease simulation model. QALYs and lifetime costs were then used to calculate incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for the competing strategies. The incremental cost-effectiveness ratio for the strategy of computerized tomography (CT) followed by adrenal venous sampling (AVS) was $82,000/QALY compared with treat all. Incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for CT alone and AVS alone were $200,000/QALY and $492,000/QALY; the other strategies were more costly and less effective. Integrating differential patient-reported health-related quality of life adjustments for patients with PA, and incremental cost-effectiveness ratios for screening patients with CT followed by AVS, CT alone, and AVS alone were $52,000/QALY, $114,000/QALY, and $269,000/QALY gained.


CT scanning followed by AVS was a cost-effective strategy to screen for PA among patients with RH.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Lubitz, CC; Economopoulos, KP; Sy, S; Johanson, C; Kunzel, HE; Reincke, M; Gazelle, GS; Weinstein, MC; Gaziano, TA

Published Date

  • November 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 8 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 621 - 630

PubMed ID

  • 26555126

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4651757

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-7705

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1941-7713

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1161/circoutcomes.115.002002


  • eng