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Open Access Research article

High pulse pressure and metabolic syndrome are associated with proteinuria in young adult women

Jwa-Kyung Kim1, Young-Su Ju2, Sung Jin Moon3, Young Rim Song1, Hyung Jik Kim1 and Sung Gyun Kim1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Kidney Research Institute, Hallym University College of Medicine, 896, Pyeongchon-dong, Anyang-si 431-070, Dongan-gu, Korea

2 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Anyang, Korea

3 Myongji Hospital, Kwandong University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

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BMC Nephrology 2013, 14:45  doi:10.1186/1471-2369-14-45

Published: 21 February 2013



Obesity and metabolic syndrome play causative roles in the increasing prevalence of proteinuria in the general population. However, in young adult women the clinical significance of incidentally discovered proteinuria and its association with metabolic syndrome are unclear. We investigated the prevalence and risk factors for proteinuria in this population.


A total of 10,385 women aged 20 to 39 years who underwent health screenings were surveyed. Each patient was tested for proteinuria with a dipstick (−, ±, 1+, 2+, or 3+), and proteinuria was defined as 1+ or greater. Persistent proteinuria was established by confirming proteinuria in a subsequent test. Metabolic syndrome was defined in accordance with the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III criteria for Asia.


The mean age was 28.9 ± 5.5 years, and the prevalence of persistent proteinuria was 1.0%. Among these subjects with persistent proteinuria, obesity and metabolic syndrome were found in 10.4% and 5.2%, respectively. Metabolic syndrome, as well as its components of hypertension, hyperglycemia, central obesity, low high-density lipoprotein levels, and high triglyceride levels, was closely related to the presence of proteinuria. In addition, a wide pulse pressure of ≥40 mmHg was another independent risk factor for proteinuria [odds ratio (OR) 3.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.03–11.91)]. This had an additive effect on metabolic syndrome in terms of predicting proteinuria. Even in subjects without metabolic syndrome, the influence of an increased pulse pressure was consistent (OR 2.75, 95% CI 1.03–8.61).


Specific attention to proteinuria may be necessary in asymptomatic young women aged 20 to 39 years if they have metabolic syndrome or a wide pulse pressure.