To determine whether protein intake influences the rate of renal function change in women over an 11-year period. 1624 women enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study who were 42 to 68 years of age in 1989 and gave blood samples in 1989 and 2000. Ninety-eight percent of women were white, and 1% were African American. Protein intake was measured in 1990 and 1994 by using a semi-quantitative food-frequency questionnaire. Creatinine concentration was used to estimate glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and creatinine clearance.
High protein intake was not associated with renal function decline in women with normal renal function. However, high total protein intake, particularly high intake of non-dairy animal protein, may accelerate renal function decline in women with mild renal insufficiency.
The impact of protein intake on renal function decline in women with normal renal function or mild renal insufficiency