Objective: To test the hypothesis that post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis (PSGN) in childhood is a risk factor for chronic renal disease in later life.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Setting: A remote Aboriginal community in the "Top End" of the Northern Territory that experienced two epidemics of PSGN in 1980 and 1987, respectively.
Participants: 472 people who were aged 2-15 years during either epidemic. They were categorised by clinical features recorded during the epidemics as having clinically defined PSGN (63), "abnormal urine" (haematuria or proteinuria; 86) or controls (323).
Outcome measures: Urinary albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR), haematuria (by dipstick urinalysis), blood pressure, serum creatinine level, and calculated glomerular filtration rate (GFR) during community screening in 1992-1998.
Results: Overt albuminuria (ACR > 34 mg/mmol) was present at follow-up in 13% of the PSGN group, 8% of the abnormal urine group, and 4% of the control group. The odds ratio (OR) for overt albuminuria in those with a history of PSGN compared with the control group, adjusted for age and sex, was 6.1 (95% CI, 2.2-16.9). Haematuria (>trace) was present in 21% of the PSGN group compared with 7% of the control group (adjusted OR, 3.7; 95% CI, 1.8-8.0). There were no significant differences between the groups in blood pressure, serum creatinine level or calculated GFR.
Conclusion: In this population, a history of PSGN in childhood is a risk factor for albuminuria and haematuria in later life.