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Results of routine blood and urine tests may predict a person's risk of developing end-stage renal disease (ESRD) many years down the road. In a study that spanned 25 years, a dipstick urine protein test and a kidney function blood test helped identify men who later developed ESRD.


Researchers studied data collected from 12,866 men from 1973 to 1975 and followed them through 1999. The men, ages 35 to 57, had increased risks of heart disease but no known kidney problems at the start of the study.


During 25 years of follow-up, 1.7% (213) of the men developed ESRD. Those who'd had more than a trace of protein in their urine initially had three times the risk of developing ESRD than men who didn't. Men who'd had large amounts of protein in their urine had 15 times the risk.


Similarly, the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR)-a blood test that reflects kidney function-helped predict ESRD: When a man's eGFR was abnormally low, his risk of developing ESRD was more than double that of men with normal readings. Men who had abnormal readings for both the dipstick test and eGFR had a risk of developing ESRD that was 41 times higher than in men with normal results.


Source: Association of single measurements of dipstick proteinuria, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and hematocrit with 25-year incidence of end-stage renal disease in the multiple risk factor intervention trial, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, A Ishani, et al., May 2006.