Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is more likely to progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in African Americans while the reasons for this are unclear. The metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and has been recently linked to incident CKD. Historically, fewer African Americans meet criteria for the definition of metabolic syndrome, despite having higher rates of cardiovascular mortality than Caucasians. The presence of microalbuminuria portends increased cardiovascular risks and has been shown to cluster with the metabolic syndrome. We recently reported that proteinuria is a predictor of CKD progression in African American hypertensives with metabolic syndrome. In this review we explore the potential value of including CKD markers--microalbuminuria/proteinuria or low glomerular filtration rate (GFR)-in refining the cluster of factors defined as metabolic syndrome, ie, "cardiorenal metabolic syndrome."