High impact publication from a collaboration in China

Lead researcher

Professor Qifu Li, Dr Jun Yang, Dr Shuming Yang

Main finding

High blood pressure is a common disease and control is often suboptimal. However, when the disease is caused by primary aldosteronism (too much aldosterone produced by the adrenal glands), targeted treatment or even a surgical cure is possible.

In this study conducted in Chongqing, China, more than 1000 patients with recently diagnosed high blood pressure were systematically tested for primary aldosteronism. It was found that, at least one in 25 had the disease.

Of those who were diagnosed, a quarter had a surgical cure, while most of the remaining patients only needed to take one medication (aldosterone blocker) for blood pressure management.


Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism

Research group

Cardiovascular Endocrinology


Dr Zhixin Xu,* Dr Jun Yang,* Dr Jinbo Hu,* Dr Ying Song, Dr Wenwen He, Dr Ting Luo, Dr Qingfeng Cheng, Dr Linqiang Ma, Dr Rong Luo, Prof Peter J. Fuller, Prof Jun Cai, Prof Qifu Li, Dr Shumin Yang (*co-first authors)

Journal and article title

Most surprising

This is the first such study from China. It adds to evidence from around the world that primary aldosteronism is a common but under-diagnosed disease. There were no striking clinical differences between those with or without the disease, apart from their aldosterone and renin levels. It highlights the importance of proactive screening for primary aldosteronism in the early management of hypertension.

Future implications

An early diagnosis of the root cause of hypertension would allow targeted treatment or even a cure. Blood pressure control will be optimised despite a reduction in the number of non-specific antihypertensive medications, and the long term cardiovascular risk will be reduced.

Disease/health impact

Hypertension, Cardiovascular disease

Other points of interest

This is one of many collaborative research projects with the CONPASS group from Chongqing, China, which all started with a chance encounter at the International Aldosterone Meeting in Chicago 2018. Dr Jun Yang was supported by Hudson Institute's 'Postdoctoral Travel Grant' to attend this meeting. "I am very grateful for the opportunity made possible by the Institute", says Dr Yang.

Professor Qifu Li, Dr Jun Yang, Dr Shuming Yang standing together in front of Jun's scientific poster at the 2019 US Endo Society conference in New Orleans