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Uric Acid May Be a Marker for Early Renal Dysfunction

In type 1 diabetics, higher uric acid levels were associated with early renal function decline

THURSDAY, March 20 (HealthDay News) -- Among patients with type 1 diabetes, uric acid levels in the high-normal range are independently associated with early declines in renal function, according to an article first published online Feb. 13 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Elizabeth T. Rosolowsky, of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues studied 675 patients with type 1 diabetes, of whom 364 had normoalbuminuria and 311 had microalbuminuria, in order to investigate factors associated with early renal function decline. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was estimated using a serum cystatin C-based formula.

The investigators found that mean GFR was 119 mL/min in the normoalbuminuric group and 99 mL/min in the microalbuminuric group. Mildly or moderately impaired renal function, defined as GFR less than 90 mL/min, was seen in 36 percent of those with microalbuminuria, and 10 percent of patients with normoalbuminuria, suggesting that renal function declines begin while urinary albumin levels are still in the normal range. Univariate and multivariate analyses showed that impaired renal function was independently associated with higher serum uric acid levels and higher urinary albumin excretion rates.

"Follow-up studies are needed to confirm that [a high-normal] level of serum uric acid is a risk factor for early renal function decline in type 1 diabetes and to determine whether its reduction would prevent the decline," the authors conclude.

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