In type I diabetic patients, microalbuminuria is considered predictive of nephropathy and has been found associated with an increased mobility and mortality for atherosclerosis. An association between microalbuminuria and atherosclerosis has been reported in non diabetic atherosclerotic patients with hypertension. The aim of this study is to evaluate whether albumin excretion rate (AER) is increased in a selected group of normotensive patients with documented peripheral atherosclerotic disease. We measured the AER on overnight urine collections in: 20 normotensive, non diabetic, atherosclerotic patients and in 14 healthy volunteers, matched for sex, age, body mass index. All subjects had normal renal function and negative family history of hypertension and diabetes. The AER values were 2.46 +/- 0.52 micrograms/min in controls, 3.25 +/- 0.69 micrograms/min in atherosclerotic patients, and the difference was not statistically significant. No subject (patient or control) was microalbuminuric. These results suggest that AER is not a marker of widespread vascular damage in normotensive atherosclerotic patients with normal glucose tolerance.
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