Microalbuminuria is a risk factor for renal and cardiovascular diseases. Oxidant stress may contribute to vascular disease risk by promoting damage to renal and vascular tissues. This study examined the associations of plasma levels of diet-derived antioxidants with albuminuria in Australian population groups at high risk of renal and cardiovascular disease. Data on microalbuminuria and diet-derived plasma antioxidants were drawn from results of cross-sectional community-based risk factor surveys of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (n=698, 15 years and older). Prevalence of microalbuminuria ranged from 17–21%. After adjustment for age, gender, body mass index, diabetes, smoking status, plasma lipids and blood pressure, microalbuminuria was associated with significantly lower plasma concentrations of lycopene (-29%; P<0.001), β-carotene (-22%; P<0.001), α-carotene (-22%; P<0.001) and cryptoxanthin (-17%; P<0.001) compared with normalbuminuric persons. Significant associations of microalbuminuria with plasma concentrations of α-tocopherol, retinol, lutein plus zeaxanthin and homocysteine were absent. The data are consistent with a protective effect of diets rich in carotenoids on vascular endothelium and/or renal tissues, and support the need for interventions to address affordable food supplies and dietary quality among Indigenous Australians.

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