Kidney Function Can Predict Mortality Risk

BALTIMORE, May 20 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say an international study shows kidney function and damage tests can predict the risk of death from cardiovascular diseases and all causes.

The research from the Chronic Kidney Disease Prognosis Consortium involved 21 studies from 14 countries and found a common blood test to estimate kidney function and a urine test measuring protein (albumin) to estimate kidney damage were strongly related to mortality risk.

“People with high levels of albumin in their urine were at markedly higher risk of mortality than people with low levels of albumin in the urine,” said Dr. Kunihiro Matsushita of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the study’s lead author. “The risk of mortality was elevated by nearly 50 percent at 30 milligrams albumin to creatinine ratio, which is the threshold for defining chronic kidney disease.

“In addition, mortality risk increased more than four-fold at high levels of albuminuria compared to an optimal level of 5 milligrams,” Matsushita added. “The data presented in this analysis confirm that the current thresholds are indicative of increased all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk with both kidney filtration function and urine protein contributing to risk.”

Dr. Josef Coresh, a professor with the Bloomberg School’s department of epidemiology and the consortium’s U.S. leader, said the study conclusively confirms earlier suggestions for including both of the kidney measures in risk evaluation and provides a quantitative basis for chronic kidney disease definition and staging.

The study is reported in The Lancet.

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