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Kidney Diseases

Bun / creatinine ratio

11/14/2007

Question:

My bun is 24 and my creatinine is 1.6. This gives me a ratio of 15. I am African American and I understand that we generally have higher creatinine levels. Should I be worried?

Answer:

Yes, I would be concerned and would see your physician about this.  In general, a creatinine of 1.6 is high and indicates decreased kidney function (as much as half of it).  If you are a young male with a large amount of muscle, a creatinine of 1.6 may be normal for you, but the only way to tell for sure is to collect all your urine for 24 hours, and have your urine and blood tested for what is called a "creatinine clearance." 

African Americans seem more prone to hypertension and to kidney disease, so especially if there is a history of hypertension and/or kidney disease in your family, it is particularly important for you to be tested and treated if your blood pressure is high, in order to decrease the likelihood not only of kidney disease, but of strokes and heart attacks. 

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Response by:

Mildred   Lam, MD Mildred Lam, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University