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Is IgA Nephropathy Hereditary

2012-10-04 17:13

Is IgA nephropathy hereditary? This question is frequently asked by patients. The following article is provided in response to the question.

Some studies show that IgA nephropathy has a genetic predisposition. However, it is rarely found in more than one family member. The incidence of IgA nephropathy is not only determined by genetic predisposition, but also affected by environmental or other factors. Therefore, it is not accurate to say that IgA nephropathy is hereditary.

In mor than 90% cases of IgA nephropathy, the patients have no disease history at all.

However, ins the remaining 10% cases, a familial clustering of IgA nephropathy shows strong family predisposition. It is more common in some specific the regions like Southern France and Italy. In addition, IgA nephropathy is more commonly seen in some specific ethnic groups such as Asian ethnicity, Hispanics and Caucasians.

In fact, immune dysfunction plays a major role in IgA nephropathy. Immunoglobulin is an kind of antibodies and can defeat the foreign harmful substances. Some people are born with the susceptibility gene related to immune abnormality. However, not all people with the gene will develop IgA nephropathy and the incidence of the disease is also affected by other acquired factors.

In some cases, the immune system is activated improperly by external factors and it fails to work normally. As a result, when immunoglobulin A is produced by immune system, it fails to distinguish the foreign harmful substances from the healthy body tissues and cells. Afterwards, the immunoglobulin A deposits in glomeruli and causes inflammation of glomeruli.

Although IgA nephropathy is not hereditary, not all women with the disease will have successful pregnancy. High blood pressure and heavy proteinuria are two major risk factors for both mother and fetus. They can increase the risk of premature delivery, stillbirth, renal function declining, etc. Therefore, women with IgA nephropathy should consult doctors before they make pregnancy plan and are also be monitored during their pregnancy.

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