Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Good kidney health begins before birth

Date:
May 30, 2013
Source:
Monash University
Summary:
Researchers have found that conditions in the womb can affect kidney development and have serious health implications for the child not only immediately after birth, but decades later.

Researchers have found that conditions in the womb can affect kidney development and have serious health implications for the child not only immediately after birth, but decades later.

In a paper published today in The Lancet an international team, including Monash University's Professor John Bertram and the University of Queensland's Professor Wendy Hoy, reviewed existing, peer-reviewed research on kidney health and developmental programming -- the effects of the in utero environment on adult health.

The accumulated evidence linked low birth weight and prematurity -- risk factors for high blood pressure and chronic kidney disease later in life -- with low numbers of the kidney's filtration units or nephrons.

In Australia, around 30 per cent of the adult population has high blood pressure and one in nine has at least one clinical symptom of chronic kidney disease. The incidence of both diseases is significantly higher in Indigenous populations.

Professor Bertram, Head of the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, has been researching nephrons for two decades.

"The kidney is particularly sensitive to life before birth because we stop making nephrons at 36 weeks gestation. So, for a baby born at term, the process of nephron formation is finished and it cannot be restarted," Professor Bertram said.

Humans are born with an average of one million nephrons and lose up to 6000 each year. However, Professor Bertram's research has shown there is a huge variance in nephron number -- from just over 200,000 to around two million. Further, nephron number is positively related to birth weight -- a low birth weight equates to low nephron number and larger babies have a higher nephron number.

Given that low birth weight occurs in 15 per cent of live births worldwide, the study has implications for maternal health and clinical screening processes.

"In terms of maternal health during pregnancy, things like a high fat diet, alcohol consumption, various antibiotics and stress hormones have been shown to have a negative impact on fetal kidney development, although more research needs to be done," Professor Bertram said.

"Further, given the strong associations between birth weight, nephron number and disease later in life, and the fact that a baby's weight is routinely recorded in many countries, we suggest that birth weight should be a parameter that clinicians use to determine how often a patient is screened for kidney function or given a blood pressure test.

"Although a newborn may appear perfect, if their birth weight is low, there may be consequences 40 years down the line. We could be proactive about detecting these diseases in the early stages."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Monash University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Valerie A Luyckx, John F Bertram, Barry M Brenner, Caroline Fall, Wendy E Hoy, Susan E Ozanne, Bjorn E Vikse. Effect of fetal and child health on kidney development and long-term risk of hypertension and kidney disease. The Lancet, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(13)60311-6

Cite This Page:

Monash University. "Good kidney health begins before birth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 May 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192425.htm>.
Monash University. (2013, May 30). Good kidney health begins before birth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192425.htm
Monash University. "Good kidney health begins before birth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130530192425.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Generics Eat Into Pfizer's Sales

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 29, 2014) Pfizer, the world's largest drug maker, cut full-year revenue forecasts because generics could cut into sales of its anti-arthritis drug, Celebrex. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins