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Diabetic nephropathy is a complication of diabetes and is characterized by proteinuria (normal urinary albumin excretion is <30 mg/day; overt proteinuria is >300 mg/day). Before overt proteinuria develops, albumin excretion increases in those diabetic patients who are destined to develop diabetic nephropathy. Due to biologic variability, positive results should be confirmed by a second, first-morning random or 24-hour timed urine specimen. If there is discrepancy, a third specimen is recommended. When 2 out of 3 results are in the microalbuminuria range, this is evidence for incipient nephropathy and warrants increased efforts at glucose control, blood pressure control, and institution of therapy with an angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitor.
First morning urine sample preferred.