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J Am Soc Nephrol. 2003 Jul;14(7 Suppl 2):S131-8.

Prevalence of kidney damage in Australian adults: The AusDiab kidney study.

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Department of Nephrology, Monash Medical Centre, USA.


The incidence of ESRD is increasing dramatically. Progression to end-stage may be halted or slowed when kidney damage is detected at an early stage. Kidney damage is frequently asymptomatic but is indicated by the presence of proteinuria, hematuria, or reduced GFR. Population-based studies relating to the prevalence of kidney damage in the community are limited, particularly outside of the United States. Therefore, the prevalence of proteinuria, hematuria, and reduced GFR in the Australian adult population was determined using a cross-sectional study of 11,247 noninstitutionalized Australians aged 25 yr or over, randomly selected using a stratified, cluster method. Subjects were interviewed and tested for proteinuria-spot urine protein to creatinine ratio (abnormal: >/=0.20 mg/mg); hematuria-spot urine dipstick (abnormal: 1+ or greater) confirmed by urine microscopy (abnormal: >10,000 red blood cells per milliliter) or dipstick (abnormal: 1+ or greater) on midstream urine sample; and reduced GFR-Cockcroft-Gault estimated GFR (abnormal: <60 ml/min per 1.73 m(2)). The associations between age, gender, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension, and indicators of kidney damage were examined. Proteinuria was detected in 2.4% of cases (95% CI: 1.6%, 3.1%), hematuria in 4.6% (95% CI: 3.8%, 5.4%), and reduced GFR in 11.2% (95% CI: 8.6%, 13.8%). Approximately 16% had at least one indicator of kidney damage. Age, diabetes mellitus, and hypertension were independently associated with proteinuria; age, gender, and hypertension with hematuria; and age, gender, and hypertension with reduced GFR. Approximately 16% of the Australian adult population has either proteinuria, hematuria, and/or reduced GFR, indicating the presence of kidney damage. Identifying and targeting this section of the population may provide a means to reduce the burden of ESRD.

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