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Urine test may predict type 1 diabetes progression

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Measuring the level of a higher molecular weight protein in the urine of patients with type 1 diabetes can help predict progression of the disease, say Swedish researchers.

Between 1984 and 2007, the researchers studied the levels of Immunoglobulin M (IgM) – a reliable predictor of cardiovascular disease – in the urine of 139 patients with type 1 diabetes.

The study found that those with increased levels of IgM in their urine had higher mortality from cardiovascular causes, and were three times more likely to die or progress to end-stage renal disease.

Lead researcher Omran Bakoush, from Lund University in Sweden, said: ‘To our knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the impact of increased urine IgM excretion on disease progression in type 1 diabetic patients.

‘These findings may offer a new approach to manage this rapidly increasing patient population. While measurement of albuminuria is routinely used to evaluate and manage patients with diabetes, increased urine IgM excretion would identify more specifically patients at risk for serious cardiovascular complications, death and renal failure,’ he added online in the journal BMC Medicine.

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