The ability of urinary albumin excretion and estimated kidney function to predict short term all cause and cardiovascular mortality in community dwelling individuals

Cardiovascular (CV) events such as stroke, heart attack and heart failure are the most common causes of death and adult disability. A priority in population-health is to accurately identify patients who are at increased risk of CV events, so that we can introduce effective preventative therapies in appropriate populations. Kidney damage is a common condition in the general population, which even in its mildest stages actually increases the risk of these events significantly. In contrast to early vascular disease in other organs (e.g. heart or brain), there are simple, convenient and inexpensive tests that can accurately identify people with early vascular damage to the kidney. For example, simple tests for trace amounts of protein in the urine and a blood test to measure kidney function are widely available and simple to complete. To date, these investigations have been used to measure kidney damage. However, emerging research suggests that these simple tests could also be useful in identifying patients who are at high-risk of heart attack and stroke. This research will focus on determining how good these simple kidney tests are at predicting who will get a heart attack or stroke in the future. The future implications of our research is that it will refine optimal selection of patients who should receive medications to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, such as aspirin, statins and blood pressure medication. Given that these medications have important side effects, it is important that they are used in those who will benefit and not in those who will not benefit. Identifying a simple approach to screening populations for cardiovascular risk holds enormous implications for population-based approaches to preventing heart disease and stroke.

Award Date
25 April 2013
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Dr Donal Sexton
Host Institution
National University of Ireland, Galway
Research Training Fellowships for Health Professionals