Vitamin D deficiency likely among some kidney disease patients starting dialysis

Feb 26, 2010

Vitamin D deficiency is almost universal among kidney disease patients who have low blood protein levels and who start dialysis during the winter, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The research identifies a group of patients who are at extremely high risk of being deficient in vitamin D and provides some clues as to why the deficiency occurs in these individuals.

Vitamin D deficiency is common in patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) on , but it's not clear which patients are at increased risk. Ishir Bhan, MD, MPH (Massachusetts General Hospital), and his colleagues sought to determine whether routinely measured clinical and demographic characteristics could identify who have a high risk of . The researchers analyzed data from 908 patients in the Accelerated Mortality on Renal Replacement (ArMORR) cohort, a nationally representative group of U.S. dialysis patients. Data from 60% of the patients were used to find potential predictors of vitamin D deficiency, while data from the other 40% of patients were used to validate the predictors.

The investigators found that 79% of the study population was vitamin D deficient. Black race, female sex, winter season, and low blood levels of the protein albumin (≤ 3.1 g/dL) were the strongest predictors of vitamin D deficiency. In the validation set, the presence of low blood albumin levels and winter season increased the likelihood of vitamin D deficiency in black females (from 90% to 100%), black males (from 85% to 100%), white females (from 82% to 94%), and white males (from 66% to 92%).

"This research identifies risk factors for nutritional vitamin D deficiency in the dialysis population and may provide clues to its biology in this population," said Dr. Bhan. One interpretation of the finding that low blood albumin levels were associated with deficiency is that at-risk patients leak large amounts of protein in their urine. The investigators suspect that vitamin D binding protein, which transports the vitamin through the blood, may also be lost through the urine. Its loss could lead to the loss of vitamin D as well. In addition, while previous studies have suggested that patients on dialysis have an impaired ability to generate vitamin D from sun exposure, these findings emphasize that skin-based production of the vitamin is likely to be important in patients with ESRD.

Explore further: Oil-swishing craze: Snake oil or all-purpose remedy?

More information: The article, entitled "Clinical Measures Identify Vitamin D Deficiency in Dialysis," will appear online on February 25, 2010, doi:10.2215/CJN.06440909

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Vitamin D linked to reduced mortality rate in CKD

May 07, 2008

For patients with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease (CKD), treatment with activated vitamin D may reduce the risk of death by approximately one-fourth, suggests a study in the August Journal of the American Society of ...

'Let the sunshine in' to protect your heart this winter

Nov 17, 2008

The temperature might not be the only thing plummeting this winter. Many people also will experience a decrease in their vitamin D levels, which can play a role in heart disease, according to a new review article in Circulation.

Vitamin D tied to muscle power in adolescent girls

Feb 03, 2009

Vitamin D is significantly associated with muscle power and force in adolescent girls, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Recommended for you

Suddenly health insurance is not for sale

Apr 18, 2014

(HealthDay)— Darlene Tucker, an independent insurance broker in Scotts Hill, Tenn., says health insurers in her area aren't selling policies year-round anymore.

Study: Half of jailed NYC youths have brain injury (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body ...

Autonomy and relationships among 'good life' goals

Apr 18, 2014

Young adults with Down syndrome have a strong desire to be self-sufficient by living independently and having a job, according to a study into the meaning of wellbeing among young people affected by the disorder.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

Study says we're over the hill at 24

(Medical Xpress)—It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

Egypt archaeologists find ancient writer's tomb

Egypt's minister of antiquities says a team of Spanish archaeologists has discovered two tombs in the southern part of the country, one of them belonging to a writer and containing a trove of artifacts including reed pens ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.