Diabetic nephropathy is a known cause of significant morbidity and mortality in adult patients with diabetes. Microalbuminuria (MA) is predictive of future diabetic nephropathy (DN) in adult patients with diabetes mellitus (DM). This link between MA levels and DN allows patients to receive timely interventions. The predictive value of MA for DN in children with DM, however, is not well established. Most studies looking at this association in children have only been forced to use adult MA values. Children, particularly adolescents, are known to have different normal values for 24-hour total protein excretion compared to adults and it may be that they also have different normal levels of MA. Little literature exists on normal levels of 24 hr MA in healthy children and in children with diabetes.
In this study, we seek to define the range of MA levels that falls between the 2.5 and 97.5 percentiles for children with and without DM. Once these values are established, we will have a foundation for further studies to define which, if any, MA values are predictive of DN in children. If we can establish a MA level which is predictive of DN in children, it will allow physicians to direct medical intervention at those most likely to benefit while protecting others from unnecessary medications, procedures, and risks.