NATIONAL HARBOR, Md.—Vitamin D deficiency is strongly associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPT) in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to data presented at the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2012 Spring Clinical Meetings.

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In a study of 410 patients (78% African American) with CKD stages 1-5, researchers at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta found each one-unit increment in 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 decreased the likelihood of SHPT by 42%.

Levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 were checked in 71% of patients and the overall mean level was 21.46 ngmL. Parathyroid hormone (PTH) level was checked in 93% of patients; the level for each CKD stage was above the target range recommended by the NKF’s Kidney Disease Quality Initiative guidelines, according to the investigators.

The study, which was led by Khalid Bashir, MD, and presented by Arshad Ali, MD, found that patients with CKD stages 3 and 4 were more than four times as likely to develop SHPT compared with those who had CKD stages 1 and 2 at the same level of 25 hydroxyvitamin D3.

The researchers noted that they could draw no conclusions about CKD stage 5 patients because of the small sample size.