Excretion of excess urinary albumin is a marker of generalised endothelial dysfunction and both progressive renal disease and cardiovascular events in those with and without diabetes; its detection provides a simple way of identifying patients at particularly high risk. Effective management of cardiovascular risk factors and the use of angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors have been shown to retard or prevent progression of microalbuminuria to more profound albuminuria. Microalbuminuria can be reversed by such therapy and recently an ACE inhibitor has been shown to prevent the development of microalbuminuria in hypertensive patients with type 2 diabetes. Given the increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes and the corresponding ascendancy of ensuing cardiovascular disease and renal failure, strict control of multiple risk factors, including microalbuminuria, is to be encouraged.
For UK healthcare professionals only