The incidence of such clots was 40 percent higher for people with slightly elevated urine levels of albumin and more than twice as high for people with more elevated levels than for those with normal levels, after adjustment for known risk factors such as diabetes, the researchers found.
The report is one of several that have demonstrated a possible value of urine tests to help determine the risk of cardiovascular disease. A German research group reported recently that a urine test looking for fragments of a different protein, collagen, might help detect an increased risk of heart disease.
And in 2007, physicians at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that high levels of albumin in urine of people with stable cardiovascular disease indicated an increased risk of death.
Studies have shown that high urine levels of albumin have a greater association with arterial condition than with venous problems, Gansevoort said. "There are two sides to the coin," he said. "One is how often you find the problems. The incidence of arterial problems is twice as high than for venous problems."
"Then, how serious is an arterial problem against a venous problem? If you have a myocardial infarction or a stroke, it is more serious than a venous thrombosis on a leg. But pulmonary [lung] emboli are very important problems," he said.
The new study does not indicate a need for using urine tests as a mass screening method, Gansevoort said. "But if someone comes into my clinic who I suspect might have venous thrombosis or embolism, possibly with a family history, I might add a test for microalbuminuria. If there is shortness of breath showing that there might be a pulmonary embolism, I can use a test for microalbuminuria in diagnosis."
The why and how of a urine te
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