05/20/2010 - Articles

Protein in urine a risk for those with high blood pressure

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD


People with high blood pressure are at increased risk of both kidney problems and heart disease. We already know that excreting a slight excess of protein in the urine (microalbuminuria) is linked to an increased risk of kidney and heart disease in people with both diabetes and high blood pressure. In the MAGIC (Microalbuminuria: A Genoa Investigation on Complications) study, a team at the University of Genoa, Italy, now reveals that microalbuminuria is also a risk factor for people without diabetes who have high blood pressure.

Over a 12 year period, the researchers followed the health of nearly 1,000 individuals with high blood pressure, checking levels of protein in their urine. Those with microalbuminuria at the start were 7.6 times more likely to develop chronic kidney disease and 2.1 times more likely to develop cardiovascular complications like heart disease and stroke compared to those without microalbuminuria. And those who did have microalbuminuria were 3.2 times more likely to develop both kidney and cardiovascular complications. Therefore, it is worth doctors keeping an eye on protein in urine levels in their patients with high blood pressure. Further research may indicate whether interventions in patients with both microalbuminuria and high blood pressure can reduce their risk of later health complications.



Viazzi F et al Microalbuminuria is a predictor of chronic renal insufficiency in patients without diabetes and with hypertension: The MAGIC study Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology online April 2010 doi: 10.2215/CJN.07271009


Created on: 05/20/2010
Reviewed on: 05/20/2010

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