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.

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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.