Is There a Racial Difference in Presentation of Primary Hyperparathyroidism?

Barker, Holly; Caldwell, Lauren; Lovato, James; Woods, Kristy F.; Perrier, Nancy D.
June 2004
American Surgeon;Jun2004, Vol. 70 Issue 6, p504
Academic Journal
Nearly 50,000 new cases of primary hyperparathyroidism (PHPT) are diagnosed annually in the United States. Most information about the disease focuses on the white population. We evaluated African American (AA) and white patients at our tertiary care university medical center to determine whether there was a racial difference in presentation of PHPT. A retrospective chart review of patients treated surgically for PHPT between 1997 and 2002 was performed. Demographic data, laboratory values, objective symptoms, surgical procedure, and histologic findings were recorded. The AA participants were matched to whites by age and gender. The effect of race was adjusted for the matching variables by including them in regression models. ANOVA χ² tests were performed on the race effects. Thirty-six (14.4%) of the 286 patients treated for PHPT at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center during this 5-year period were AA. There was no difference in serum calcium or presence of objective symptoms, but PTH levels were significantly higher for blacks (207.5 vs 143.5 pg/mL; P = 0.02). In our study, AA patients had significantly higher parathyroid hormone levels at time of surgical intervention but did not present with a difference in symptoms or more advanced disease. Further research is recommended to characterize ethnic differences in patients with PHPT.


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