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 September 2, 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 September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

Doctors Fear They're Losing Battle Against Ebola

AP (Sep. 2, 2014) As a third American missionary is confirmed to have contracted Ebola in Liberia, doctors on the ground in West Africa fear they're losing the battle against the outbreak. (Sept. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

Tech Giants Bet on 3D Headsets for Gaming, Healthcare

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) When Facebook acquired the virtual reality hardware developer Oculus VR in March for $2 billion, CEO Mark Zuckerberg hailed the firm's technology as "a new communication platform." Duration: 02:24 Video provided by AFP
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