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Category: Kidney Diseases
Individuals who were born early may benefit from kidney testing, as a new study out of Monash University has shown that premies are significantly more likely to develop kidney disease later in life.
The researchers said that even babies who were only born slightly prematurely - those born within four weeks of their expected delivery date - may be at an increased risk of kidney complications, even though they were previously assumed to be fully developed at this point.
For the study, the team examined the kidneys of premature babies and those of individuals born after full gestation. The results showed that premies have fewer nephrons, which the researchers described as being the building blocks of the kidneys. While a normal person would have between 800,000 and 1.5 million nephrons, premature babies have just 400,000 to 600,000.
"The more nephrons you have the more 'solid' a structure your kidneys will have. When we look at kidneys that have fewer nephrons, abnormalities are present, which indicates that preterm babies could be much more susceptible to renal disease and possible kidney failure later in life," said Jane Black, who led the study.
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