A Simple Urine Test Could Be Used To Calculate How Long A Person Will LiveMain Category: Cardiovascular / Cardiology
Article Date: 22 Mar 2013
Researchers have discovered a novel way of finding out how much longer a person will live, by calculating the levels of protein in urine with a simple urine test.
The findings, which were published in the National Kidney Foundation's American Journal of Kidney Diseases, reveal that healthy people have very low levels of protein in their urine as their kidneys are able to retain most of it for the body.
For those with proteinuria, or excess protein in urine, it is an indicator that the kidneys have been damaged in some way, and some of the protein leaks through.
According to lead author of the report, Dr. Tanvir Chowdhury Turin of the University of Calgary:
"Our report shows that both men and women with higher levels of proteinuria had substantially reduced life expectancy in comparison to people with relatively low levels of proteinuria."
The study involved analyzing over 810,000 patients who underwent proteinuria testing.
Results from the study show that, among men and women 30 to 85 years of age, the higher the amounts of proteinuria, the shorter their life span.
Men without proteinuria outlived those with it by 8.2 years, women without it outlived those with proteinuria by 10.5 years.
According to Dr. Turin:
"There is a striking reduction in life expectancy associated with the severity of proteinuria. We already know that severity of chronic kidney disease is associated with increased risk of adverse outcomes including mortality risk, but the effect of proteinuria on life expectancy has not been estimated before."
Levels of protein in urine could potentially be used as an indicator of a patient's life expectancy and overall well-being.
Dr. Turin added:
"This report makes it easier to understand and communicate the importance of urine testing to patients, health providers, and policy makers. Given that proteinuria is a key marker of adverse outcomes, strategies for improving the identification of patients with proteinuria should become a priority among physicians."
Doctors should use urine tests more often as an inexpensive means of evaluating the risk of kidney disease.
Joseph Vassalotti, MD, said: "It is our goal to encourage primary care physicians to screen all those with diabetes, high blood pressure and a family history of kidney disease."
Those at high risk of developing kidney disease should be tested regularly for proteinuria. Patients with diabetes type 2 are especially at risk of kidney disease and damage, as are people with high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol, a family history of kidney disease. Smokers, obese people, African-Americans and Asian Americans also have a higher risk. Doctors should help people with proteinuria make the necessary lifestyle changes.
Written by Joseph Nordqvist
Copyright: MediLexicon International Ltd
Original article posted on Medical News Today.
Articles not to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today