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Low Vitamin D Linked to End-Stage Renal Disease

Study finds low levels may account for increased risk of renal disease in non-Hispanic blacks

MONDAY, Nov. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Vitamin D deficiency may explain the increased risk of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) found in non-Hispanic blacks, according to research published online Oct. 29 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Michal L. Melamed, M.D., of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues analyzed data from 13,328 subjects in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III. Participants were assessed for baseline levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D), the main circulating form of vitamin D, and followed for ESRD through linkage with Medicare files. Deficiency of 25(OH)D was defined as being less than 15 ng/mL.

After adjustment for a variety of factors, the researchers showed that individuals with 25(OH)D deficiency had a higher incidence of ESRD than subjects with levels of 15 ng/mL or above (incidence rate ratio, 2.64). Non-Hispanic blacks had a 2.83 fold higher risk of ESRD compared to non-Hispanic whites. Further adjustment for 25(OH)D levels decreased the risk by 58 percent (incidence rate ratio, 1.77).

"The increased prevalence of 25(OH)D <15 ng/mL among non-Hispanic black individuals seems to explain a substantial proportion of their excess risk for ESRD," the authors write. "These results need to be tested in future observational studies, and, if confirmed, then randomized, controlled trials evaluating the renoprotective effects of vitamin D supplementation may be warranted."

A co-author reported financial and consulting relationships with several pharmaceutical companies.

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