Setting New PACE For Hypertension

Hudson Institute

Some quick mathematics paints a disturbing picture

  • Six million Australians - one in three adults – have hypertension
  • 1.3 billion people worldwide, one in four adults, have hypertension

For 10 per cent of people with hypertension, the cause is a hormonal condition called primary aldosteronism (PA). Yet, only one percent of those are tested for PA.

Personal and professional motivation

For Associate Professor Jun Yang, this issue is personal as well as professional. An endocrinologist and a researcher, soon after A/Prof Yang started researching PA, she found that not just one, but both of her parents had the condition, which explained their inability to keep their blood pressure under control.

"What I love about PA is that it is easily detected (with the correct blood test) and has effective treatment or even a cure," A/Prof Yang said.

"It is just there, right under our noses, and yet it is often missed. If we can systematically improve its diagnosis in the whole population, we may be able to prevent many unnecessary heart attacks, strokes and kidney failure."

The Primary Aldosteronism Centre of Research Excellence (PACE)

With her mentor, Professor Peter Fuller, who is Head of Endocrinology at Monash Health and leads Hudson Institute's Centre for Endocrinology and Metabolism, A/Prof Yang successfully applied for an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence Award in 2023. This allowed the establishment of the Primary Aldosteronism Centre of Research Excellence (PACE), bringing together world-class researchers from Hudson Institute, Monash Health, Monash University, University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Curtin University, University of Western Australia and Menzies School of Health.

"The aim of PACE is to coordinate PA research and develop integrated strategies to enable the medical profession - from general practitioners to major hospitals - to better understand, identify and treat this condition," Prof Fuller said.

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