Vitamin D deficiency is associated with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to investigators.

A team led by Matthew Damasiewicz, MD, of Monash Medical Centre in Clayton, Victoria, Australia, prospectively studied 5,738 adults aged 25 years or older participating in the baseline and five-year follow-up phases of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study. Of these, 623 (10.9%) were vitamin D deficient (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels below 15 ng/mL), 161 experienced new-onset reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), and 222 had new-onset albuminuria.

The age-standardized annual incidence of albuminuria was significantly higher for subjects with vitamin D deficiency than those without (1.50% vs. 0.66%), researchers reported online ahead of print in the American Journal of Kidney Disease. The age-standardized annual incidence of reduced eGFR was 0.92% and 0.59%, respectively, a nonsignificant difference between the groups.

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Compared with subjects with vitamin D levels of 30 or higher, those with levels below 15 had a 68% increased likelihood of albuminuria.

After adjusting for multiple potential confounders, vitamin D deficiency independently predicted a significant 71% increased five-year incidence of albuminuria. In contrast to previous investigations, the study found no association between vitamin D deficiency and reduced eGFR.

Given the new findings, combined with available experimental data, “it is tempting to speculate that use of vitamin D compounds and correction of vitamin D deficiency may present a novel strategy to positively influence the development of CKD,” the authors concluded.