High, Low Calcium Can Hike Death Risk in CKD Patients

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Although abnormal calcium levels have been linked to an increased chance of premature death in dialysis patients, new research indicates a similar risk for people in earlier stages of CKD.

In a study of 1,243 male U.S. veterans with moderate-to-advanced CKD that did not require dialysis therapy, patients who had abnormally high calcium levels for a prolonged period had a mortality risk that was 31% greater than that of the individuals with normal levels.

Patients with low calcium levels for shorter periods were 21% more likely to die than their counterparts with normal levels, the researchers, led by Csaba P. Kovesdy, MD, Chief of Nephrology at Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, Va., reported the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2010; published online ahead of print).

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