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According to a new study by Jikei University School of Medicine and Monash University researchers, predicting whether an individual will be at risk of developing kidney disease in adulthood while someone is still in the womb could be possible. 

CDK is a complication of Type II diabetes 

Chronic kidney disease affects nearly 800 million individuals globally and is usually a Type II diabetes complication. However, research shows that some people might be more protected against CKD than others because of various associated factors.

Researchers evaluated over 50 adult donor kidneys to assess gestational implications. They began by examining the kidney’s filtration mechanism focusing on blood filters and glomeruli. Additionally, they examined podocytes, the specialized cells in glomeruli. 

According to scientists, having high amounts of podocytes means someone has a healthy kidney. However, the latest research shows that kidneys having more glomeruli are likely to have many podocytes, implying that they are concentrated in every kidney filter. 

John Bertram, the lead author, said that the latest Study demonstrates that kidneys with more glomeruli have a higher concentration of podocytes per filter. As a result, since people are born with all glomeruli and podocytes, the findings suggest that some individuals are born with that double protection while others are at double the risk. 

Glomeruli vary between individuals. 

This is a significant development in understanding CKD’s pathophysiology because glomeruli vary from individual to individual. Some individuals have 200,000 glomeruli, with others having up to 2 million. According to Bertram, underweight newborns and premature babies have fewer glomeruli and thus are at risk of high blood pressure or CKD later in life. However, it is important to note that there is no way glomeruli count can be increased since they all form by week 36 during pregnancy. 

Therefore the only way to prevent future CKD is for the mother to watch their nutrition so that they can increase the filter count in their children. Although things like premature or low birth weight are unavoidable, lifestyle and eating habits can significantly prepare for such a scenario.