-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Too much protein
in your urine -- an early sign of kidney disease and a risk factor
for heart disease -- often goes undetected and untreated, a new
Researchers also found that many people with this problem,
called proteinuria, reported taking common over-the-counter pain
medicines called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs),
which can harm kidney function.
Researchers tested nearly 300 patients who were admitted to a
hospital in Albany, N.Y., and one in Chicago. Forty percent were
found to have proteinuria, but just 37 percent of those with the
condition were being treated for it.
One third of patients with proteinuria had high blood pressure,
but only 43 percent of them were being treated with an
anti-proteinuric high blood pressure drug. Another important
finding was that 41 percent of patients with proteinuria said they
took NSAIDs, according to the study presented at a National Kidney
Several medications can be used to treat proteinuria, including
angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors and angiotensin
receptor blockers (ARBs), the researchers noted.
"We were very surprised by the findings," study leader Dr. Vishesh Kumar, a resident at Albany Medical College, said in a kidney foundation news release.
Proteinuria is very common and it's easy to fix," he said. "And
it's being ignored."
The findings are scheduled for presentation this week at the
annual meeting of the National Kidney Foundation in Las Vegas.
"We've known for years that ACE inhibitors and ARBs slow the progression of kidney damage. But we were surprised by the fact that over 60 percent of the patients we looked at with confirmed proteinuria were not taking any of these drugs. We can have a major impact on reducing proteinuria in these patients," Kumar said.
He added that the finding that many patients with proteinuria
were taking NSAIDs offers a "huge opportunity" for
Urine testing for proteinuria is simple and should be done in
people at highest risk, including those who are older than 60 and
anyone with diabetes or high blood pressure, or a family history of
kidney failure, according to the National Kidney Foundation.
Research presented at meetings is typically considered
preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney
Diseases has more about
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