Getting to the Heart of Early Kidney Disease

The risk of cardiovascular events and death in people with diabetes and high blood pressure is two to eight times higher when microalbuminuria is present.

In a retrospective review of scientific literature, researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago fully reviewed seven studies to identify the relative risk of cardiovascular events associated with microalbuminuria (small amounts of albumin in the urine) that is present in patients with both diabetes and high blood pressure.

Microalbuminuria typically identifies an early stage of kidney disease. The researchers cite a need for further studies to examine in depth the relationship between microalbuminuria and cardiovascular events and to help clarify potential benefits of medications such as ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors and ARBs angiotensin II receptor blockers) that reduce levels of urinary albumin.

—Pharmacotherapy, December 2003

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