Women who loose protein in the urine or albuminuria (albumin is major part the protein spectrum in the body) are more likely to have pre-mature babies according to a study. A simple, inexpensive test for urinary albumin may help doctors to predict mothers-to-be at risk who are likely to deliver early.
A study was released in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (the official journal of the National Kidney Foundation) this month that suggests this test. "Research suggests that albuminuria may be a sign that a woman has problems in the lining of her blood vessels," says Dr. David Warnock, President, National Kidney Foundation and Director of Nephrology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. "If so, some cases of prematurity may be caused by a dysfunction in the blood vessels supporting a fetus-a finding that may point to new, future treatments that help babies stay longer in the womb."
Proteinuria or albuminuria is an early sign of kidney disease. It occurs due to the filtering pores of the kidney enlarging and it leads to loss of larger protein molecules. Recent research has also indicated that people with albuminuria may also be at higher risk of stroke, heart attack and heart failure. In pregnancy also proteinuria may disrupt fetal growth and trigger a premature delivery.
Proteinuria or albuminuria can be detected by a simple dip-stick test even at home or to get a better picture a a 24-hour period urine can be collected and analysed.
In the study a comparitive study was done of albumin levels in the urine of 111 women who gave birth to babies after less than 37 weeks' gestation, and 293 women who carried their babies to term. They found that women with even small increases in the amount of albumin in their urine were twice more likely to have deliver premature babies as compared to women who did not have albumin in urine.
Te more albumin women had in their urine, the higher their chances of giving birth prematurely. And women with the high amount of albumin in their urine were nearly five times more likely than women with the least amount of albumin to have premature babies.
"If we know which mothers are most at risk of delivering early, we can target our efforts to the women who need it most," says Warnock. "Tracking urinary albumin looks like one way we can do that."
Extracts from: http://www.kidney.org
Medindia More Information on Albuminuria:
Test - Proteinuria
Indication - proteinuria, preeclampsia, glomerularnephritis and diabetic nephropathy
Physiology - Normally protein is present in only in trace levels in urine collected.Abnormal levels are seen in pathological conditions
Normal Range - Mild proteinurial-less than 0.5 g/day, moderate proteinuria-0.5-3.0g/day. Marked proteinuria-3-15g/day
Interpretation - Mild proteinuria-stress and fever.Moderate proteinuria-congestive heart failure and multiple myeloma.Marked proteinuria-glomerularnephritis,diabetic nephropathy
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