A study of ethnic differences in intrauterine development of renal morphometry

This project aims to shed light on the early development of the kidneys in the South Asian ethnic minority, a group with high incidence of kidney disease. Bradford is a city with a high poverty index which is another predisposing feature. This novel research builds on sound principles developed in animal studies and in other human groups. Early identification of a predisposition to kidney disease would allow preventative strategies and a greater awareness of risk at an individual level.

The study will explore parental and perinatal factors associated with kidney development such as paternal and maternal ethnicity, demographics and lifestyle behaviours and phenotype. At 34 weeks gestation renal morphometry will be measured using ultrasound. Pregnancy outcomes including birth weight for gestation and neonatal anthropometry will be recorded. Analysis will determine if there is an ethnic difference in fetal kidney dimensions, explore the relationship between birth weight and kidney dimensions and examine the maternal and paternal socioeconomic, demographic and nutritional factors that relate to the nephron endowment and prenatal kidney growth.

This study will provide a unique platform to further to investigate early life factors associated with kidney disease in childhood and later adulthood. It may also inform interventions at the community level to ameliorate intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) and prevent abnormal kidney development.