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Any Kidney Disease to Be Seen As Relevant in Pregnancy

Careful monitoring necessary, researchers say

FRIDAY, March 13, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Chronic kidney disease (CKD) during pregnancy puts women and their babies at risk for certain types of problems, even if the disease is at an early stage and the mother-to-be has normal kidney function, according to a study published online March 12 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Italian researchers compared outcomes among 504 pregnant women with CKD and 836 pregnant women without any kidney problems. The risk of pregnancy problems — such as preterm delivery, hypertension in the mother, and the need for neonatal intensive care — was higher among women with CKD. This was true even for those women in the early stages of disease, the investigators reported.

“The findings indicate that any kidney disease — even the least severe, such as a kidney scar from a previous episode of kidney infection, with normal kidney function — has to be regarded as relevant in pregnancy, and all patients should undergo a particularly careful follow-up,” study co-leader Giorgina Barbara Piccoli, M.D., of the University of Torino, said in a news release from the American Society of Nephrology. “Conversely, we also found that a good outcome was possible in patients with advanced CKD, who are often discouraged to pursue pregnancy.”

The findings may prove helpful for prenatal counseling for women with CKD and for monitoring them during pregnancy, the researchers said. In the United States, about 26 million people have CKD, they added.

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