The incidence of ESRD is increasing rapidly. Limited information exists regarding early markers for the development of ESRD. This study aimed to determine over 25 yr the risk for ESRD associated with proteinuria, estimated GFR (eGFR), and hematocrit in men who did not have identified kidney disease and were randomly assigned into the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Study (MRFIT). A total of 12,866 men who were at high risk for heart disease were enrolled (1973 to 1975) and followed through 1999. Renal replacement therapy was ascertained by matching identifiers with the United States Renal Data System's data; vital status was from the National Death Index. Men who initiated renal replacement therapy or died as a result of kidney disease were deemed to have developed ESRD. Dipstick urine for proteinuria, eGFR, and hematocrit were related to development of ESRD. During 25 yr, 213 (1.7%) men developed ESRD. Predictors of ESRD were dipstick proteinuria of 1+ or ≥2+ (hazard ratio [HR] 3.1 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.8 to 5.4] and 15.7 [95% CI 10.3 to 23.9] respectively) and an eGFR of <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 (HR 2.4; 95% CI 1.5 to 3.8). Correlation between eGFR and serum creatinine was 0.9; the risk for ESRD with a 1-SD difference of each was identical (HR 1.21). Bivariate analysis demonstrated a 41-fold increase in ESRD risk in those with an eGFR <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 and ≥2+ proteinuria (95% CI 15.2 to 71.1). There was no association between hematocrit and ESRD. Other baseline measures that independently predicted ESRD included age, cigarette smoking, BP, low HDL cholesterol, and fasting glucose. Among middle-aged men who were at high risk for cardiovascular disease but had no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease or significant kidney disease, dipstick proteinuria and an eGFR value <60 ml/min per 1.73 m2 were strong predictors of long-term development of ESRD. It remains unknown whether intervention for proteinuria or early identification of those with chronic kidney disease reduces the risk for ESRD.