EYE ON DIAGNOSTICS: Screening for microalbuminuria

February 2007 
Volume 37  Number 2
Pages 70 - 70
  PDF Version Available!



Margaret Bourg is an adjunct faculty member in the nursing department at Community College of Allegheny County in Monroeville, Pa.

ELEVATED URINE ALBUMIN may indicate leaky glomerular basement membranes and renal disease. Scientific studies have shown that albumin levels much lower than those detected on “dipstick” screening tests indicate early nephropathy and are linked to an elevated risk of cardiac disease.

Identifying albuminuria and treating nephropathy at an early stage help prevent progressive renal failure and cardiovascular disease. Microalbumin testing can detect urine albumin levels as low as 30 mg/dL.

Who gets the test. Patients with diabetes and hypertension are primary candidates for screening. Regular testing following these recommendations is a standard of care for someone with diabetes:

* type 1 diabetes: test annually starting 5 years after diagnosis * type 2 diabetes: test at the time of diagnosis and annually thereafter. ...

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