Urine test can predict fatal condition in pregnant women

November 13th, 2011 - 5:30 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Nov 13 (IANS) A simple urine test during mid-pregnancy could tell which women will suffer from pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal complication.

The key problem so far has been separating which women only have high blood pressure (BP) and which have pre-eclampsia related high BP.

Researchers found certain kidney cells are shed into the urine in women with high BP who develop pre-eclampsia but not in others, the Telegraph reports.

Vesna Garovic and colleagues from Mayo Clinic, US, tested 315 women. In the group, 15 developed pre-eclampsia and 15 developed high BP but not pre-eclampsia.

“Studies of the associations of hypertensive pregnancy disorders with maternal risks for future cardiovascular disease could lead to new guidelines for screening and treatment of women at risk with the ultimate goal of improving cardiovascular health in women,” Garovic said.

None of the women with normal pregnancies tested positive for the kidney cells, showing the test is highly accurate. In a related study, the same team investigated the long-term effects of high BP in pregnancy on the women.

More than 6,000 women who had babies in the 1970s and 1980s were followed up. It was found that after 40 years, women who had suffered high BP in pregnancy were more likely to continue to have high BP but also to develop kidney disease and strokes.

Half of women who had high BP in pregnancy still had the condition at the age of 40, compared with less than a third of those with healthy pregnancies.

The findings were presented as part of the American Society of Nephrology’s Annual Kidney Week.

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