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J Diabetes Complications. 1994 Jul-Sep;8(3):157-63.

Epidemiology of microalbuminuria in the general population.

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Department of Community Health, School of Medicine, University of Auckland, New Zealand.


Microalbuminuria in the general population is associated with recognized risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperlipidemia; and it is an independent predictor of subsequent cardiovascular mortality in hypertensive, diabetic, and elderly populations. Although different methods have been used for measuring and expressing urinary albumin excretion and a variety of cutoff levels have been used for defining microalbuminuria, prevalence of microalbuminuria appears to be higher in non-Europeans (8%-28%) than in Europeans (2%-10%). However, because of the large within-individual variability of urinary albumin excretion and the relatively low prevalence of microalbuminuria, large studies are required to detect statistically significant associations between albuminuria and cardiovascular risk factors. Evidence presented here supports the proposition that microalbuminuria represents a marker of cardiovascular disease risk in nondiabetic individuals as well as diabetic individuals. Moreover, because of a high sensitivity of the test and because albuminuria is a concomitant of many forms of renal disease, microalbuminuria also has a role in detecting patients with renal involvement associated with essential hypertension, lupus erythematosus, women with pre-eclampsia, and subjects with unsuspected primary and secondary nephropathies.

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