June 29, 1999
Question from Madrid, Spain:
My husband is 42, Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed 3 years ago. His last urine test for protein (microalbuminuria) was positive. What does this mean? What risks is he running?
First of all, you should exclude all common causes of secondary transient microalbuminuria such as heavy exercise or urinary tract infections and to this aim I’d suggest you to ask your doctor for more help. If these common causes of microalbuminuria are excluded, three years of type 1 diabetes is too short a period to be the real cause of microalbuminuria and I’d rather interpret it as a broad risk factor for macroangiopathy (large vessel disease) if other risk factors (such as raised blood lipids and blood pressure) are present.