A person may develop high levels of protein in the urine, or proteinuria, temporarily due to trauma, exposure to temperature extremes, fever, emotional stress and strenuous exercise. Permanent high protein levels indicate kidney disease, often due to diabetes, hypertension or other underlying conditions, according to Mayo Clinic.
While the protein levels in urine are normally low, Mayo Clinic indicates it is also common for young, otherwise healthy people to have a urinalysis that reports a high count. Follow-up tests help determine if the report is a cause for concern.
Diabetes is the leading cause of proteinuria, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. The presence of protein in the urine is usually the first indication of kidney disease because protein levels in the urine increase as kidney damage progresses.
High blood pressure also causes proteinuria, according to the National Kidney and Urologic Diseases Information Clearinghouse. African Americans develop kidney failure related to hypertension at six times the rate of Caucasians, and American Indians, Hispanics and Pacific Islanders are also at a higher risk.
Treatment for proteinuria involves identifying the underlying cause and managing it, according to WebMD. Proper treatment helps stop the progression of the disease, and it can prevent kidney damage from developing into kidney failure.