Trace Proteinuria and the Incidence of Overt Proteinuria After Five Years: Results of the Kanagawa Investigation of the Total Checkup Data From the National Database-5 (KITCHEN-5)

Kei Nakajima, Ryoko Higuchi, Kaori Mizusawa


Background: Trace proteinuria (TrP), which is usually defined as by dipstick urinalysis, is considered as normal and of limited clinical significance. However, the relationship between TrP and overt proteinuria (OP) (? +1) in the future is unknown. Therefore, we investigated the association between TrP and future incidence of OP in a community-based cohort study.

Methods: TrP detected during the initial 2 years, which was classified into transient TrP (once/2 years) (T-TrP) and recurrent TrP (twice/2 years) (R-TrP); and the incidence of OP after 5 years were investigated in 292,257 general Japanese people aged 40 - 68 years who attended checkups. To determine TrP and OP, dipstick urinalysis was conducted with visual reading (VR) by medical staff or automated reading (AR) using a machine reader.

Results: Overall, T-TrP and R-TrP were observed in 24,782 (8.5%) and 3,767 (1.3%) subjects, respectively. Both types of TrP were prevalent in the detection with AR than VR. The prevalences of T-TrP and R-TrP showed J-shaped relationships against baseline body mass index (BMI), regardless of sex and BMI categories. The incident of OP after 5 years was larger (around 10%) in R-TrP than T-TrP (around 5%): approximately two times. Logistic regression analysis showed that T-TrP and R-TrP were significantly associated with OP, even after adjustment for relevant confounding factors including age, sex, and BMI (odds ratios (95% confidence intervals (CIs)): 2.77 (2.60 - 2.95) and 4.85 (4.34 - 5.43)), which were not largely altered when sub-analysis was conducted according to men and women, non-obesity and obesity, or AR and VR. In all analysis above, the odds ratios (95% CIs) of R-TrP for OP were higher than T-TrP.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that TrP, particularly R-TrP, is substantially associated with the future incidence of OP, which may be independent of confounding factors and the methods detecting TrP.

J Clin Med Res. 2020;12(9):618-623


Trace proteinuria; Dipstick urinalysis; Overt proteinuria; Body mass index; Visual reading; Automated reading

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