Association of dietary patterns with albuminuria and kidney function decline in older white women: a subgroup analysis from the Nurses' Health Study

Am J Kidney Dis. 2011 Feb;57(2):245-54. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2010.09.027.


Background: Dietary patterns have been linked to such chronic diseases as cardiovascular disease, but sparse data currently are available for associations between dietary patterns and microalbuminuria or kidney function decline.

Study design: Subgroup analysis from a prospective observational cohort study.

Setting & participants: Female participants in the Nurses' Health Study who had dietary pattern data from food frequency questionnaires returned in 1984, 1986, 1990, 1994, and 1998 and urinary albumin-creatinine ratios from 2000 (n = 3,121); estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) change between 1989 and 2000 was available for 3,071.

Predictor: Prudent (higher intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, fish, poultry, and whole grains), Western (higher intake of red and processed meats, saturated fats, and sweets), and Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-style dietary patterns (also greater intake of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains).

Outcomes & measurements: Microalbuminuria (albumin-creatinine ratio, 25-354 μg/mg) in 2000 and change in kidney function using eGFR between 1989 and 2000.

Results: After multivariable adjustment, the highest quartile of Western pattern score compared with the lowest quartile was associated directly with microalbuminuria (OR, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.18-3.66; P for trend = 0.01) and rapid eGFR decline ≥3 mL/min/1.73 m(2)/y (OR, 1.77; 95% CI, 1.03-3.03). Women in the top quartile of the DASH score had decreased risk of rapid eGFR decline (OR, 0.55; 95% CI, 0.38-0.80), but no association with microalbuminuria. These associations did not vary by diabetes status. The prudent dietary pattern was not associated with microalbuminuria or eGFR decline.

Limitations: Study cohort included primarily older white women and generalizability of results would benefit from validation in nonwhites and men.

Conclusions: A Western dietary pattern is associated with a significantly increased odds of microalbuminuria and rapid kidney function decrease, whereas a DASH-style dietary pattern may be protective against rapid eGFR decline.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Albuminuria / epidemiology*
  • Albuminuria / ethnology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet*
  • Edible Grain
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Female
  • Fruit
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiopathology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Vegetables