4363.0.55.001 - Australian Health Survey: Users' Guide, 2011-13  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 15/04/2014   
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Albumin is a major protein that is produced by the liver and commonly found in blood serum.1 Its role is to transport substances around the body and maintain fluid balance throughout the body.2 In some cases serum albumin may be excreted by the kidney into the urine due to damage to the kidney filters.2 When this happens albumin levels in the urine increase and this measure is used by health professionals to diagnose cases of albuminuria and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

A urine albumin result is used with a urine creatinine result to calculate the albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) for the diagnosis of macro and micro albuminuria and subsequent CKD.2,3 Further information on ACR and CKD is available in the Albumin/Creatinine ratio and Chronic Kidney Disease pages of this product.

The albumin test measures the amount of albumin in the urine at the time of the test.


Albumin results were obtained for persons aged 5 years and over, who participated in the National Health Measures Survey (NHMS) and provided a urine sample. Fasting was not required for this test.


A urine sample was collected from participants and albumin levels were measured at the Douglass Hanly Moir (DHM) laboratory.

There is no consensus on the epidemiological cut off reference values for measuring albumin, independently in urine. As such no cut off points have been defined in the NHMS.

Further information about the analysis method and machines used to measure albumin levels is available in Excel spreadsheet format in the Downloads page of this product.

Data items

The data items and related output categories for this topic are available in Excel spreadsheet format from the Downloads page of this product.


Points to be considered when interpreting data for this topic include the following:

  • Albumin test results do not confirm a specific diagnosis without consultation with a health professional.
  • There are a number of different test methods to measure albumin levels and each test method may produce different results. The data from this topic should therefore be used with caution when comparing albumin results from other studies using a different test method.

Comparability with other surveys

The NHMS is the first ABS survey to collect biomedical data on albumin levels.

Albumin data has been collected in other non-ABS surveys. However, caution must be taken when interpreting results due to the differences in scope, assay and the instrument used, and any thresholds applied in the final analysis.


1 U.S. National Library of Medicine, 2014, Albumin - blood (serum), U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003480.htm>, Last accessed 14/03/2014.
2 Kidney Health Australia, 2013, Albuminuria,<http://www.kidney.org.au/portals/0/assets/documents/patient_information/Fact%20Sheets/Albuminuria%20fact%20sheet%20APRIL%202013.pdf>, Last accessed 14/03/2014.
3 Kidney Health Australia, 2013, What is Kidney disease?, <http://www.kidney.org.au/kidneydisease/tabid/578/default.aspx>, Last accessed 14/03/2014.

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