Cardiovascular implications of proteinuria: an indicator of chronic kidney disease

Nat Rev Cardiol. 2009 Apr;6(4):301-11. doi: 10.1038/nrcardio.2009.11.


Proteinuria, defined as urine protein excretion greater than 300 mg over 24 h, is a strong and independent predictor of increased risk for all-cause and cardiovascular mortality in patients with and without diabetes. Proteinuria is a sign of persistent dysfunction of the glomerular barrier and often precedes any detectable decline in renal filtration function. Measurement of proteinuria is important in stratifying the risk for cardiovascular disease and chronic kidney disease progression. A variety of basic pathophysiologic mechanisms that can partially explain simultaneous renal and cardiac disease will be discussed in this Review. In addition to being a prognostic marker, proteinuria is being considered as a therapeutic target in cardiovascular medicine. Therapeutic strategies for amelioration of proteinuria by achieving blood pressure targets, glycemic control in diabetes, treatment of hyperlipidemia, and reducing dietary salt and protein intake are also reviewed in this paper. Future clinical studies are needed to assess if proteinuria reduction should be a target of treatment to reduce the burden of end-stage renal disease, cardiovascular disease, and improve survival in this high-risk population.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / prevention & control
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disease Progression
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications*
  • Kidney Diseases / physiopathology
  • Kidney Diseases / therapy
  • Middle Aged
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prognosis
  • Proteinuria / diagnosis
  • Proteinuria / etiology*
  • Proteinuria / physiopathology
  • Proteinuria / therapy
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult