TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2022 (HealthDay News) — The prevalence of adrenal tumors is 1.4 percent in the general adult population and increases with patient age, according to a study published online Sept. 13 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Ying Jing, M.D., from The First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University in China, and colleagues examined the prevalence and characteristics of adrenal tumors in an unselected screening population in China. Adults having an annual checkup were invited to be screened for adrenal tumors; data were included for 25,356 participants who underwent screening.

The researchers found that 351 participants had adrenal tumors, for a prevalence of 1.4 percent. There was an increase in prevalence with age, from 0.2 to 3.2 percent among those aged 18 to 25 years and those older than 65 years, respectively. Overall, 337 of the 351 participants with adrenal tumors were diagnosed with an adrenocortical adenoma, while 14 were diagnosed with another benign nodule and none had a malignant mass. Of the 212 participants with an adenoma who completed endocrine testing, 69.3, 18.9, and 11.8 percent were diagnosed with a nonfunctioning adenoma, cortisol autonomy, and primary aldosteronism, respectively, and none had pheochromocytoma. The proportion of nonfunctioning adenomas was similar across age groups (72.2, 67.8, and 72.2 percent in those aged younger than 46, 46 to 65, and 66 years or older, respectively).

“Jing and colleagues’ findings support current recommendations for universal hormonal testing in any patient with an adrenal incidentaloma,” writes the author of an accompanying editorial.

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