Urinary Albumin Excretion
An Independent Predictor of Ischemic Heart Disease
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Abstract—Cross-sectional studies suggest that an increased urinary albumin excretion rate is associated with cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia, and hypertension. The purpose of this study was to analyze prospectively whether the urinary albumin-to -creatinine (A/C) ratio can independently predict ischemic heart disease (IHD) in a population-based cohort. In 1983, urinary albumin and creatinine levels were measured, along with the conventional atherosclerotic risk factors, in 2085 consecutive participants without IHD, renal disease, urinary tract infection, or diabetes mellitus. The participants were followed up until death, emigration, or December 31, 1993. IHD was defined as a hospital discharge diagnosis or cause of death including the diagnoses ICD-8 and 410 to 414. Seventy-nine individuals developed IHD during the 21 130 person-years of follow-up. They were characterized by a preponderance of males and higher age, body mass index, blood pressure, lipoproteins, and proportion of current smokers. Microalbuminuria was defined as an A/C ratio) >90 percentile (>0.65 mg/mmol). When adjusted for other risk factors, the relative risk of IHD associated with microalbuminuria was 2.3 (95% CI, 1.3 to 3.9, P=0.002), and the 10-year disease-free survival decreased from 97% to 91% (P<0.0001) when microalbuminuria was present. An interaction between microalbuminuria and smoking was observed, and the presence of microalbuminuria more than doubled the predictive effect of the conventional atherosclerotic risk factors for development of IHD. It is concluded that microalbuminuria is not only an independent predictor of IHD but also substantially increases the risk associated with other established risk factors.
- Received August 20, 1998.
- Accepted November 24, 1998.