Thursday, November 6, 2008

Vitamin D treatment in kidney disease cuts deaths by one-fourth

An article published online in advance of the August, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reported that giving an oral form of activated vitamin D known as calcitriol to chronic kidney disease patients was associated with a 25 percent reduction in mortality over a 1.9 year period.

Calcitriol has been previously associated with improved survival when given intravenously to kidney dialysis patients to treat hyperparathyroidism; however, its effect in nondialysis kidney disease patients was unknown.In a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Bryan Kestenbaum of the University of Washington’s Harborview Medical Center in Seattle and his colleagues at the Puget Sound Veterans Affairs Medical Center evaluated 1,418 nonhypercalcemic patients with stage 3 to 4 (moderate to severe) chronic kidney disease.

Some of the patients were being treated with oral calcitriol to help reduce elevated parathyroid hormone levels, a condition that was present in all participants. Over the 1.9 year follow-up period, 408 deaths occurred. Continue Reading

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