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J Fam Pract. 2001 Aug;50(8):669-73.

Use of microalbuminuria testing in persons with type 2 diabetes: are the right patients being tested?

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Medical University of South Carolina, Department of Family Medicine, PO Box 250192, 295 Calhoun Street, Charleston, SC 29403, USA.



Our goal was to determine whether adult patients with type 2 diabetes who had gross proteinuria or were already taking angiotensin-blocking drugs were screened for microalbuminuria.


This was a retrospective cross-sectional study.


We included a total of 278 adult patients with type 2 diabetes seen during 1998 and 1999 at the family medicine practices of the Medical University of South Carolina.


The outcomes were microalbuminuria testing during either 1998 or 1999 and the initiation of medication if the screening test result was positive.


We found that patients who could derive the greatest benefit from testing (ie, those without preexisting proteinuria or who were not receiving an angiotensin-blocking drug) were no more likely to be screened for microalbuminuria than those with existing proteinuria (16% vs 18%, P=.84) or those who were already being treated with an angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor or angiotensin receptor blocker (16% vs 16%, P=.83). Also, when the microalbuminuria test result was positive, only 40% of the patients were placed on angiotensin-blocking drugs.


Physician use of microalbuminuria screening does not follow established guidelines. The test appears to be used for many patients who might not need to be screened, and it is not always used for patients who should be screened. Consideration should be given to other strategies to prevent nephropathy in persons with type 2 diabetes.

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