RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: NIDDM patients of Chinese, Indian, and Malay origin attending a diabetic clinic in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, were matched for age, sex, diabetes duration, and glycemic control (n = 34 in each group). Urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio was measured in an early morning urine sample. Biochemical measurements included markers of the acute-phase response: serum sialic acid, triglyceride, and (lowered) HDL cholesterol.
RESULTS: The frequency of microalbuminuria did not differ among the Chinese, Indian, and Malay patients (44, 41, and 47%, respectively). In Chinese patients, those with microalbuminuria had evidence of an augmented acute-phase response, with higher serum sialic acid and triglyceride and lower HDL cholesterol levels; and urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio was correlated with serum sialic acid and triglyceride. The acute-phase response markers were not different in Indians, with microalbuminuria being high in even the normoalbuminuric Indians; only the mean arterial blood pressure was correlated with urinary albumin-to-creatinine ratio in the Indians. Malay NIDDM subjects had an association of microalbuminuria with acute-phase markers, but this was weaker than in the Chinese subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: Microalbuminuria is associated with an acute-phase response in Chinese NIDDM patients in Malaysia, as previously found in Caucasian NIDDM subjects. Elevated urinary albumin excretion has different correlates in other racial groups, such as those originating from the Indian subcontinent. The acute-phase response may have an etiological role in microalbuminuria.