Aims: This study was established to follow changes in albumin/creatinine ratio (ACR) and to determine the prevalence and degree of progression of microalbuminuria (MA) or of clinical proteinuria (CP) in children with Type 1 diabetes. The study has investigated subjects for up to 12 years in establishing the correlation between MA and gender, age, duration of diabetes and glycated haemoglobin (HbA1c). The study has defined clinical cut-offs for MA in daytime clinic urine samples in young diabetic subjects.
Methods: Three hundred and sixty-one patients were involved in the study, with 221 (61.2%) having over six sets of data. Urine samples were collected at routine annual clinic visits and analysed without prior freezing for ACR. Blood samples were taken for HbA1c measurement. Data including sex, age and duration of diabetes were recorded.
Results: A random clinic ACR of < 4.5 mg/mmol (males) and 5.2 mg/mmol (females) creatinine was used as the 'clinical cut-off' to define the presence of MA. The presence of MA was independent of HbA1c and duration of diabetes but appeared be associated with the adolescent years (> 10 years). There was little evidence of progression from normoalbuminuria to MA, or from MA to CP. Of patients aged 10-18 years, 30.9% of males and 40.4% of females had one or more episodes of MA.
Conclusions: Persistent MA and random episodes of MA or CP may be associated with the adolescent years but not with duration of diabetes. Further study will reveal if the substantial increases in ACR sometimes seen during adolescence are predictive of diabetic nephropathy. Clinical cut-offs of < 4.5 and < 5.2 mg/mmol creatinine for males and females, respectively, are suggested for the interpretation of changes in ACR in random urine samples in young people with Type 1 diabetes.