Urine test to predict life expectancy
Imagine walking into a doctor's office, urinating into a cup for testing, and having the doctor tell you how much longer you were going to live. A study from the University of Calgary suggests that this may one day be possible, based on the finding that the amount of protein in a person’s urine could be a predictor of his or her life span. .
Healthy people generally have low levels of protein in their urine, as the kidneys are functioning properly and retaining much of it for the body. However, in cases of proteinuria--where there is excess protein in the urine--the kidneys likely aren’t functioning properly, allowing for some of the protein to leak into the urine.
In a study of 810,000 patients who underwent proteinuria testing, the higher the amounts of protein in the urine, the shorter a patient’s life span. Among people aged 30 to 85, men without proteinuria lived 8.2 years longer than those with the condition. Women without proteinuria lived 10.5 years longer than women with the disorder.
According to the researchers, urine testing can be an inexpensive, noninvasive means of evaluating the risk of kidney disease.