Higher serum phosphorus levels predict an increased risk of death among men with normal kidney function, researchers in South Korea concluded.

A team at Seoul National University Hospital led by Hajeong Lee, MD, studied 92,756 individuals who underwent routine health checkups at 3 tertiary hospitals and had normal kidney function and normal urinary albumin levels. During a mean follow-up of 75 months, 1,646 subjects died. For the entire study population, individuals in the highest quartile had a significant 34% increased risk for all-cause mortality compared with those in the lowest quartile in adjusted analyses, the researchers reported online ahead of print in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases. The investigators found that the increased risk was present in men—who had a significant 43% increased risk for all-cause mortality—but not in women.

Additionally, the study showed women in general had higher serum phosphorus levels than men. “Men with higher serum phosphorus levels were younger and less likely to have hypertension, whereas women with higher serum phosphorus levels were older and more likely to have diabetes and hypertension,” the authors noted.

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