Oral calcitriol use may decrease mortality risk in non-dialysis CKD patients, according to a report in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (2008;19:1613-1619).


The finding comes from a study of 1,418 non-dialysis CKD patients with hyperparathyroidism. During a median follow-up of about two years, 408 patients (29%) died and 217 (16%) initiated long-term dialysis.

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Oral calcitriol use was associated with a 26% lower risk for death and a 20% reduced risk for death or dialysis, after adjusting for demographics, comorbidities, baseline levels of parathyroid hormone, and other potential confounders.


Calcitriol use was associated with an increased risk for hypercalcemia, the study showed.


The improved survival associated with calcitriol use did not differ significantly across baseline parathyroid hormone levels.