Optimal Levels of PTH and Phosphorus Defined

SAN DIEGO—New findings presented at Kidney Week 2012 suggest that target serum phosphorus levels in patients on maintenance hemodialysis (MHD) may need to be defined.

The findings, based on a study of 107,299 MHD patients, showed that patients with serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels of 150 to 300 pg/mL, combined with serum phosphorus levels of 3.5 to 5.5 mg/dL, have the best survival, whereas those with the highest PTH levels (600 pg/mL or higher) combined with the highest serum phosphorus levels (7 mg/dL or higher), have the highest mortality risk.

The mean age of the study cohort was 64 years; 44% of subjects were women, 35% were African American, and 59% were diabetics.

The researchers, led by Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, MD, PhD, now with the University of California-Irvine, noted that both higher and low phosphorus and PTH levels are associated with greater mortality risk in MHD patients.

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