Urine Test for Kidney, Heart Diseases Clears

Detects protein marker

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WEDNESDAY, Aug. 27, 2003 (HealthDayNews) -- A new test to detect kidney and cardiovascular diseases by measuring levels of a certain protein in the urine has won approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the test's manufacturer.

Microalbumin Plus is the first test to directly measure the protein albumin, which is a marker for kidney and heart problems commonly seen in diabetics and others at risk, according to its maker, AusAm Biotechnologies.

Older tests relied on antibodies produced when the body is exposed to the protein, and often significantly underestimated actual albumin levels, the company says in a news release.

Some 40 million Americans have or are at high risk for kidney disease, while 62 million are prone to cardiovascular disease, the company says.

Though it didn't disclose the test's price, California-based AusAm says it is "fully reimbursable by Medicare."

Here is the company news release. Visit these U.S. government sites for more about kidney disease and heart disease.

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