Background: Dipstick urinalysis for proteinuria and hematuria has been used to screen renal disease, but evidence of the clinical impact of this test on development of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) is lacking.
Methods: We assessed development of ESRD through 2000 in 106,177 screened patients (50,584 men and 55,593 women), 20 to 98 years old, in Okinawa, Japan, who participated in community-based mass screening between April 1983 and March 1984. We used data from the Okinawa Dialysis Study Registry to identify ESRD patients. Multivariate logistic analyses were performed to calculate adjusted odds ratio and 95% confidence interval (95% CI) for the significance of proteinuria and hematuria on the risk of developing ESRD with confounding variables such as age, gender, blood pressure, and body mass index. A similar analysis was repeated in a subgroup of screened patients in whom serum creatinine data existed.
Results: During 17 years of follow-up, 420 screened persons (246 men and 174 women) entered the ESRD program. We identified a strong, graded relationship between ESRD and dipstick urinalysis positive for proteinuria; adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) was 2.71 (2.51 to 2.92, P < 0.001). Similar trends were observed after adding serum creatinine data. Compared with dipstick-negative proteinuria, adjusted odds ratio (95% CI) of proteinuria (1+) was 1.93 (1.53 to 2.41, P < 0.001) in men and 2.42 (1.91 to 3.06, P < 0.001) in women.
Conclusion: Proteinuria was a strong, independent predictor of ESRD in a mass screening setting. Even a slight increase in proteinuria was an independent risk factor for ESRD. Therefore, asymptomatic proteinuria warrants further work-up and intervention.