Background: It has been considered that reducing protein intake is one of important measures to delay the progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the relationship between protein intake and renal function is still uncertain, especially in relatively healthy general population. Methods: 7404 individuals (3099 men and 4305 women) who participated in both National Survey on Circulatory Disorders and National Nutrition Survey in 1990 and were free from past history of renal diseases were included in the present study. We estimated sex-specific age- and multivariate-adjusted glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and odds ratios for the presence of CKD according to the quartiles of protein (total, animal, vegetable) intake per body weight (kg). Results: There were significant differences in each protein intake among the age groups in both men and women. Both participants with and without CKD took more protein intake than that of each recommended level. There were positive relationships between GFR and the quartiles of each protein intake in both sexes. The odds ratios for the presence of CKD were significantly decreased in the higher quartile of protein intake in women. Conclusions: The higher protein intake was associated with higher GFR in both sexes and low prevalence of CKD in women. However, further studies are needed to conclude the relationships between protein intake and renal function.
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