Simple urine test leads to early detection of kidney disease

Only 5% of people in the United States who have early stages of kidney disease are aware they have the disease, according to a study by Dr. Jennifer Bragg-Gresham,* a research scientist at the University of Michigan, and colleagues. The study findings were presented at the National Kidney Foundation’s 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings.

“The most striking finding for us was how many individuals in the United States have early stages of kidney disease, but are unaware of their disease.” The authors estimate that nearly 15 million people are undiagnosed and untreated for early stages of kidney disease.

Fortunately, a simple urine test can readily detect protein in the urine (albuminuria) even before more sophisticated tests show that the kidneys are no longer filtering waste properly. Early treatment can slow progression and reduce the severity of kidney disease and other health risk factors, write the authors.

Read more about the study in the article “Albuminuria Ups Death Risk Despite Normal Renal Function,” in Renal & Urology News.

*JL Bragg-Gresham (1), B Gillespie (1), V Shahinian (1), N Powe (2), D Tuot (2), R Saran (1).

1 University of Michigan Kidney Epidemiology and Cost Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan;
2 University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California