A Simple Dip Stick Urine Test?

Those of you on Facebook (Why not like our page “What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease” on Facebook now that I’ve brought it up?) and Twitter probably already know why last week’s Tuesday and Friday blogs weren’t posted.  In addition to learning I need ALL the equipment in my office to post – instead of just the little notebook I had with me when I took off to Providence for the wedding of the now Mr. & Mrs. G. Scherban – I also learned that the world doesn’t stop if I don’t blog twice a week.  Considering all the extra work for radio shows, book talks and public relations the book has produced, I’ll be cutting down the blogs to once a week – on Monday.  I don’t think this will cause a problem for anyone, but if it does, just let me know.  My decision is not written in stone.

Today’s article is a bit technical but basically it explains how a simple, non-invasive test can detect chronic kidney disease. It’s as easy as urinating into a cup and allowing your doctor to place a dip stick in your urine sample. You know I’m not a doctor, but I sincerely feel that if I’d been diagnosed earlier, I might have been able to do more to preserve more of my kidney function.  I’m excited that this is becoming such a simple process.

DGNews  (note: DG = Doctor’s Guide)

Simple Urine Test Detects Silent Kidney Disease

Washington, DC — July 29, 2011 — A simple and inexpensive urine test routinely done in family doctors’ offices may be the key to identifying individuals who are silently undergoing rapid kidney function decline, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology (JASN). Using this test could lead to potentially earlier and more effective treatments, lowering patients’ risks for renal failure and premature death.

Approximately 60 million people globally have chronic kidney disease. Early detection and prevention of kidney disease is the only way to prevent renal failure, but individuals with
kidney disease often do not experience symptoms until later stages of the disease. Serial monitoring of kidney function in the general population would likely catch such silently progressing kidney disease early, but it would be too expensive.

William Clark, MD, The University of Western Ontario and London Health Sciences Centre, both in London, and Ontario, Canada, and his colleagues evaluated whether simple and routine screening tests for urine protein could be used to identify individuals at highest risk of rapid kidney function decline. These patients would benefit the most from serial kidney function monitoring and early treatments to prevent kidney failure.

The investigators followed 2,574 participants in a community-based clinic for an average of 7 years. They found that a positive dipstick urine test (a protein concentration of
>=1g/L) was a strong predictor of rapid kidney function decline. Overall, 2.5% of participants in the study had a urinary protein concentration of >=1g/L at the start of the study. If all of them were followed with serial monitoring of kidney function, one case of rapid kidney function decline would be identified for every 2.6 patients who were followed.

The test correctly identified whether or not individuals had rapid kidney function decline in 90.8% of participants, mislabelled 1.5% as having the condition, and missed 7.7% who were later identified as having the condition. Among those with certain risk factors, such as cardiovascular disease, age >60 years, diabetes, or hypertension, the probability of identifying rapid kidney function decline from serial kidney function measurements increased from 13% to 44% after incorporating a positive dipstick test.

“We showed that routine inexpensive urine dipstick screening in a population with and without risk factors will allow primary clinicians to follow fewer patients with serial monitoring to identify those with rapid kidney function decline that will potentially benefit from earlier referral and therapeutic intervention,” said Dr. Clark.

This study was funded by peer-review grants from Kidney Foundation of Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Health.

The URL for this article is: http://main.pslgroup.com/news/content.nsf/medicalnews/852576140048867C852578DC000A0426?OpenDocument&id=&count=10

This advance notice of the Journal of The American Society of Nephrology was provided by P\S\L Group, (The following is taken from their website.) a global organisation dedicated to putting information at the service of medicine. The companies and people of the P\S\L Group aim to improve medical care by serving those who need it, those who provide it and those who seek to improve it.

I wish it was realized when I first started this CKD journey how easily doctors can detect the disease, but I’m really happy about those who are going to find out they have this problem earlier than I did so they can start slowing down the progression of the disease right away.

So, until next Monday – a week from today,

Keep living your life!


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for one’s marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author. I will be sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back at some point. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great work, have a nice holiday weekend!

    • Thank you for your commnets, Liam. Any questions? Feel free to ask. If I can’t answer, I can direct you to someone who can.

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