Background: We investigated the relationship between the renin/aldosterone profiles of patients with essential hypertension and their prognosis using a long-term follow-up study design.
Methods: The cohort consisted of 125 Japanese patients with essential hypertension whose plasma–renin activity (PRA) (ng/ml per h), plasma–aldosterone concentration (PAC) (ng/dl), and ratio of PAC to PRA [aldosterone–renin ratio (ARR)] were determined under hospitalization from 1984 to 1993. The patients were divided into two groups according to their ARRs relative to the 50th percentile of the ARR value (ARR = 5.5); the low-ARR group (ARR <5.5, n = 66) and high-ARR group (ARR > 5.5, n = 59). Their clinical outcomes were monitored during follow-up by the attending physicians.
Results: Ninety-six patients with essential hypertension (77% of the original cohort) were eligible for the analyses. The mean follow-up time was 18.6 ± 5.2 years. The cardiovascular morbidity was significantly higher in the high-ARR group than in the low-ARR group 3.2 vs. 2.4 per 100 patient-years, respectively (P = 0.014 by Kaplan–Meier analysis). Among the cardiovascular events, the incidence of stroke was 2.7-fold higher in the high-ARR group than in the low-ARR group. High ARR was an independent risk marker for cardiovascular events by Cox proportional hazards model analysis.
Conclusion: High ARR was an independent risk marker for cardiovascular events in patients with essential hypertension.