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Identification of factors that contribute to urinary albumin losses in hypertensive nephropathy is crucial for prevention of renal deterioration. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship of low-grade albuminuria with plasma aldosterone levels in treatment-naïve hypertensive patients free of additional comorbidities that might affect renal function.In 242 newly diagnosed patients with uncomplicated primary hypertension, we obtained duplicate 24-h urine collections for measurement of urinary albumin/creatinine ratio (UACR) and measured plasma aldosterone levels. Patients with diabetes, overt proteinuria (>300 mg/day), glomerular filtration rate less than 30 ml/min per 1.73 m2, and previous renal diseases were excluded.Increasing UACR was associated with significantly and progressively higher blood pressure (BP), HDL-cholesterol, and plasma aldosterone levels, and with lower glomerular filtration. Microalbuminuria (30–300 mg/day) was detected in 41 (17%) of 242 hypertensive patients, and these patients had significantly higher BP and plasma aldosterone levels (178 ± 113 vs. 128 ± 84 pg/ml; P = 0.001), and lower glomerular filtration than patients without microalbuminuria. UACR was directly and independently correlated with BP and plasma aldosterone levels. In a logistic regression model, presence of microalbuminuria was associated with plasma aldosterone levels independently of glomerular filtration and demographic, anthropometric, and metabolic variables.In nondiabetic, treatment-naïve patients with hypertension, low-grade albuminuria is independently associated with elevated plasma aldosterone. These findings suggest a contribution of aldosterone to the early glomerular changes occurring in hypertensive nephropathy.