A new cutoff for abnormal proteinuria in diabetes mellitus patients: Relationship to Albuminuria

Orit Erman*, Arie Erman, Alina Vodonos, Uzi Gafter, David J. van Dijk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Proteinuria and albuminuria are markers of kidney injury and function, serving as a screening test as well as a means of assessing the degree of kidney injury and risk for cardiovascular disease and death in both the diabetic and the non-diabetic general population. Objectives: To evaluate the association between proteinuria below 300 mg/24 hours and albuminuria, as well as a possible association with kidney function in patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). Methods: The medical files of patients with type 1 and type 2 DM with proteinuria below 300 mg/24 hours at three different visits to the Diabetic Nephropathy Clinic were screened. This involved 245 patient files and 723 visits. The data collected included demographics; protein, albumin and creatinine levels in urine collections; blood biochemistry; and clinical and treatment data. Results: The association between proteinuria and albuminuria is non-linear. However, proteinuria in the range of 162–300 mg/24 hours was found to be linearly and significantly correlated to albuminuria (P < 0.001, r = 0.58). Proteinuria cutoff, based on albuminuria cutoff of 30 mg/24 hours, was found to be 160.5 mg/24 hr. Body mass index (BMI) was the sole independent predictor of proteinuria above 160.5 mg/24 hr. Changes in albuminuria, but not proteinuria, were associated with changes in creatinine clearance. Conclusions: A new cutoff value of 160.5 mg/hr was set empirically, for the first time, for abnormal proteinuria in diabetic patients. It appears that proteinuria below 300 mg/24 hr is not sufficient as a sole prognostic factor for kidney failure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)418-421
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2016


  • Albuminuria
  • Creatinine clearance
  • Diabetes mellitus (DM)
  • Proteinuria


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