Blood in urine (hematuria) is associated with an increased risk of kidney disease. The study uncovered that adolescents and young adults who persistently had microscopic traces of blood in their urine were more likely to suffer from end-stage renal disease (kidney disease) over the course of 20 years, compared to those who did not have any blood in their urine.
Hematuria is not as uncommon in younger patients as one may think it is. In fact, persistent microscopic hematuria, unaccompanied by any other symptoms, is frequently spotted in urine samples of children, teenagers, and young adults. Tiny traces of blood in urine may be due to kidney abnormalities or a systemic condition. Hematuria can be a rare occurrence, or a recurring long-term phenomenon.
The study looked at over 1.2 million persons aged 16 to 25 who were examined for fitness for military service.
Persistent asymptomatic isolated microscopic hematuria was diagnosed in 3,690 of the 1,203,626 eligible individuals. The condition was twice more prevalent in males than females. During the 21.9-year follow-up, 26 individuals with hematuria were diagnosed with kidney disease.
Compared to individuals without blood in urine, those with a persistent asymptomatic isolated microscopic hematuria were much more likely to be treated for end-stage renal disease later on in life
“In light of our findings, future studies are warranted to evaluate the utility of population screening in improving clinical outcomes,” the authors concluded.
Treatment options for blood in urine (hematuria)
Before we discuss the treatment options for hematuria, it’s important to first understand the possible causes leading to this condition. Hematuria may be a result of:
- Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
- Kidney infections
- Bladder or kidney stones
- Enlarged prostate
- Kidney disease
- Inherited disorders – sickle cell anemia, Alport syndrome
- Kidney injury
- Certain medications, like anti-cancer drugs or aspirin – some medications may be heavily pigmented and what you believe to be blood in urine is actually dye
- Strenuous exercise – may cause trauma to the bladder or dehydration
Targeting the underlying cause is the best way to treat hematuria. For example, treating UTIs and enlarged prostate, changing your exercise routine, or eliminating colored foods and medications from your diet. Because of the diversity of causes, hematuria treatment is not addressing the blood in urine specifically. Hence, preventative measures are directed at the primary cause rather than the ensuing symptom, too.
Prevention involves lowering your risk of UTIs, bladder and kidney stones, and bladder cancer by quitting smoking and minimizing your exposure to chemicals.
If you spot blood in your urine, make an appointment with your doctor and monitor the accompanying symptoms you may also be experiencing. This can help your doctor narrow down on a precise diagnosis.