Association of cigarette smoking with albuminuria in the United States: The third national health and nutrition examination survey

Susan L. Hogan, Suma Vupputuri, Xuguang Guo, Jianwen Cai, Romulo E. Colindres, Gerardo Heiss, Josef Coresh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Background. The association of cigarette smoking with albuminuria has been reported but not examined in a representative U.S. population. No study has evaluated the association between serum cotinine (a biological marker for tobacco exposure) and kidney damage. Methods. A cross-sectional analysis was conducted among 15,719 adult participants of the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to assess the association between smoking exposure and kidney damage. Smoking was assessed by self-reported lifetime cigarette use and serum cotinine. Kidney damage was assessed by urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (ACR), with albuminuria defined as ACR of ≥17 μg/mg in males and ≥25 μg/mg in females. Results. The analysis included 13,121 with normal albumin (mean ACR 6.3 μg/mg) and 2,414 with albuminuria (mean ACR 143 μg/mg); hypertension was prevalent in 27% and 59%, respectively. Former smoking was similar between groups (21%), while current smoking was more common in persons with albuminuria (26%) compared to normal ACR (21%). Adjusted for other risk factors, among hypertensives, current smokers were 1.85 (95% CI: 1.29, 2.64) times more likely to have albuminuria than never smokers. Current smokers with a ≥40 pack-year history were at highest risk for albuminuria. Among non-smoking hypertensives, those exposed to passive smoke (highest versus lowest quartile of serum cotinine) were 1.41 (95% CI: 1.04, 1.90) times more likely to have albuminuria. Former smoking with cessation of ≥1 year among hypertensives was not associated with albuminuria. Among non-hypertensives, smoking and albuminuria were not consistently associated. Conclusion. Current and passive smoking, but not former smoking, were associated with the presence of albuminuria in the general U.S. population with hypertension, indicating a benefit to the kidney from smoking cessation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-142
Number of pages10
JournalRenal Failure
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Albuminuria
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Hypertension
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology


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