Chronic kidney disease (CKD) and its associated morbidity pose a worldwide health problem. As well as risk of endstage renal disease requiring renal replacement therapy, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of premature death among the CKD population. Proteinuria is a marker of renal injury that can often be detected earlier than any tangible decline in glomerular filtration rate. As well as being a risk marker for decline in renal function, proteinuria is now widely accepted as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. This review will address the prognostic implications of proteinuria in the general population as well as other specific disease states including diabetes, hypertension and heart failure. A variety of pathophysiological mechanisms that may underlie the relationship between renal and cardiovascular disease have been proposed, including insulin resistance, inflammation, and endothelial dysfunction. As proteinuria has evolved into a therapeutic target for cardiovascular risk reduction in the clinical setting we will also review therapeutic strategies that should be considered for patients with persistent proteinuria.
Keywords: albuminuria; cardiovascular risk; microalbuminuria; proteinuria.