Primary Aldosteronism (PA), or Conn Syndrome, is the most commonly under-diagnosed cause of high blood pressure affecting millions of people. My goal is to facilitate the diagnosis of every case of PA and make treatment widely available to all communities including the disadvantaged.
Areas of interest
A/Prof Yang is an endocrine hypertension researcher and clinician who has demonstrated the high prevalence of Primary Aldosteronism (PA) in the community and is now leading research to enable early diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
One in 10 patients with hypertension have PA but it is often misdiagnosed as conventional hypertension – less than one in 100 patients are diagnosed correctly. As a result, patients are given the wrong treatment and suffer preventable heart disease or stroke. PA is a form of high blood pressure caused by overactive adrenal glands that make too much aldosterone, a salt-retaining hormone, which leads to high blood pressure as well as heart and kidney damage. Correctly diagnosed, PA and the consequent hypertension can be treated or cured with surgery.
Over a 10-year period (2010-2020) A/Prof Yang has developed diagnostic and management guidelines for primary aldosteronism at Monash Health that has led to a 40-fold increase in the number of patients diagnosed.
In 2016 A/Prof Yang established the first dedicated Endocrine Hypertension Service in Victoria, integrating medical research findings into clinical practice. She is currently leading national and international efforts to streamline the diagnosis and management of PA, including leading a network of researchers to formulate problem solving strategies across Australia.
A/Prof Yang has been awarded more than $8 million in grant funding from National government agencies (MRFF and NHRMC), as well as philanthropic bodies including the Heart Foundation and Rebecca Cooper Foundation.
A/Prof Yang contributes to the Endocrine Society of Australia as the Co-Chair of its Annual Scientific Meeting (2023-2025); and the Endocrine Society (US) as a member of its Annual Meeting Steering Committee (2024-2026).
“My main interest lies in the translation of primary aldosteronism research into revised clinical guidelines, improved diagnostic tools and transformed practice to help patients. In addition, I am identifying the earliest point of disease occurrence with the aim of enabling earlier intervention and return to health.”