Objectives and design: Recent studies have shown that albuminuria accompanied by evidence of subclinical inflammation is more strongly associated with metabolic abnormalities and the development of atherosclerosis than albuminuria alone. The aim of this population-based prospective study was to examine the combined effect of albuminuria and inflammatory markers on all-cause and cardiovascular-mortality in nondiabetic individuals without macroalbuminuria.
Subjects and methods: Urinary albumin and creatinine, some inflammatory markers (fibrinogen, white blood cell and monocyte count) and cardiovascular risk factors were measured in 5702 persons in Tromsø, Norway. Baseline data were collected in 1994-1995 and follow-up was through 2005.
Results: For a one standard deviation higher value of the log-transformed ratio between albumin and creatinine (ACR), the mortality rate ratio for all-cause mortality was 1.21 when adjusted for age, gender, established cardiovascular risk factors as well as fibrinogen and white blood cell count (P < 0.001). The corresponding mortality rate ratio for cardiovascular mortality was 1.24 (P < 0.001). Persons in the upper quartile of both ACR and either of the inflammatory markers had an age- and gender-adjusted all-cause and cardiovascular mortality rate that was four times that of subjects in the lowest quartiles (P < 0.001).
Conclusion: ACR predicts all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in persons without known diabetes and macroalbuminuria. The mortality is especially high amongst individuals with elevated levels of both ACR and inflammatory markers.