Open Access Open Badges Research article

Increased incidence of kidney diseases in general practice after a nationwide albuminuria self-test program

Julia de Borst12, Markus MJ Nielen2*, Robert A Verheij2 and François G Schellevis23

Author Affiliations

1 Faculty of Earth and Life sciences, VU University, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

2 NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), Utrecht, the Netherlands

3 Department of General Practice/EMGO Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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BMC Family Practice 2011, 12:81  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-12-81

Published: 3 August 2011



To study the influence of a nationwide albuminuria self-test program on the number of GP contacts for urinary complaints and/or kidney diseases and the number of newly diagnosed patients with kidney diseases by the GP.


Data were used from the Netherlands Information Network of General Practice (LINH), including a representative sample of general practices with a dynamic population of approximately 300.000 listed patients. Morbidity data were retrieved from electronic medical records, kept in a representative sample of general practices. The incidence of kidney diseases and urinary complaints before and after the albuminuria self-test program was compared with logistic regression analyses.


Data were used from 139 general practices, including 444,220 registered patients. The number of GP consultations for kidney diseases and urinary complaints was increased in the year after the albuminuria self-test program and particularly shortly after the start of the program. Compared with the period before the self-test program, more patients have been diagnosed by the GP with symptoms/complaints of kidney disease and urinary diseases (OR = 1.7 (CI 1.4 - 2.0) and OR = 2.1 (CI 1.9 - 2.3), respectively). The odds on an abnormal urine-test in the period after the self-test program was three times higher than the year before (OR = 3.0 (CI 2.4 - 3.6)). The effect of the self-test program on newly diagnosed patients with an abnormal urine test was modified by both the presence of the risk factors hypertension and diabetes mellitus. For this diagnosis the highest OR was found in patients without both conditions (OR = 4.2 (CI 3.3 - 5.4)).


A nationwide albuminuria self-test program resulted in an increasing number of newly diagnosed kidney complaints and diseases the year after the program. The highest risks were found in patients without risk factors for kidney diseases.