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Low Income Associated With High Phosphate Levels in CKD

Blacks and whites in lowest income strata have similarly elevated levels

FRIDAY, Sept. 17 (HealthDay News) -- Lower socioeconomic status, which may be a marker for higher intakes of relatively inexpensive processed and fast foods containing increased levels of phosphate, is associated with hyperphosphatemia in both black and white patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to research published online Sept. 16 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Orlando M. GutiƩrrez, M.D., of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional analysis of race, socioeconomic status, and serum phosphate level in 2,879 participants in the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort Study. The researchers aimed to determine whether hyperphosphatemia, which is associated with poorer outcomes in CKD and is more common among blacks than whites, is related to socioeconomic status.

The researchers found that unemployed participants and those with the lowest incomes were significantly more likely to have higher serum phosphate levels than those who were employed or had the highest incomes. Racial differences in serum phosphate levels were observed, but after adjustment for income, this relationship was modified; blacks had 0.11 to 0.13 mg/dL higher serum phosphate than whites in the highest income groups, but there were no racial differences in the lowest income group. Also, compared with the highest-income whites, both whites and blacks with the lowest incomes were more than twice as likely to have hyperphosphatemia.

"It is unclear why participants with the lowest socioeconomic status had the highest serum phosphate concentrations and the greatest likelihood of hyperphosphatemia," the authors write. "However, given the very low probability that higher serum phosphate levels among lower income participants could be explained by biologic differences in phosphorus metabolism that are somehow intrinsic to being poor, cultural or environmental factors likely play a predominant role."

One study author has received research funding from Amgen.

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