Background: Altered mineral metabolism contributes to bone disease, cardiovascular disease, and other clinical problems in patients with end-stage renal disease.
Methods: This study describes the recent status, significant predictors, and potential consequences of abnormal mineral metabolism in representative groups of hemodialysis facilities (N= 307) and patients (N= 17,236) participating in the Dialysis Outcomes and Practice Patterns Study (DOPPS) in the United States, Europe, and Japan from 1996 to 2001.
Results: Many patients fell out of the recommended guideline range for serum concentrations of phosphorus (8% of patients below lower target range, 52% of patients above upper target range), albumin-corrected calcium (9% below, 50% above), calcium-phosphorus product (44% above), and intact PTH (51% below, 27% above). All-cause mortality was significantly and independently associated with serum concentrations of phosphorus (RR 1.04 per 1 mg/dL, P= 0.0003), calcium (RR 1.10 per 1 mg/dL, P < 0.0001), calcium-phosphorus product (RR 1.02 per 5 mg(2)/dL(2), P= 0.0001), PTH (1.01 per 100 pg/dL, P= 0.04), and dialysate calcium (RR 1.13 per 1 mEq/L, P= 0.01). Cardiovascular mortality was significantly associated with the serum concentrations of phosphorus (RR 1.09, P < 0.0001), calcium (RR 1.14, P < 0.0001), calcium-phosphorus product (RR 1.05, P < 0.0001), and PTH (RR 1.02, P= 0.03). The adjusted rate of parathyroidectomy varied 4-fold across the DOPPS countries, and was significantly associated with baseline concentrations of phosphorus (RR 1.17, P < 0.0001), calcium (RR 1.58, P < 0.0001), calcium-phosphorus product (RR 1.11, P < 0.0001), PTH (RR 1.07, P < 0.0001), and dialysate calcium concentration (RR 0.57, P= 0.03). Overall, 52% of patients received some form of vitamin D therapy, with parenteral forms almost exclusively restricted to the United States. Vitamin D was potentially underused in up to 34% of patients with high PTH, and overused in up to 46% of patients with low PTH. Phosphorus binders (mostly calcium salts during the study period) were used by 81% of patients, with potential overuse in up to 77% patients with low serum phosphorus concentration, and potential underuse in up to 18% of patients with a high serum phosphorus concentration.
Conclusion: This study expands our understanding of the relationship between altered mineral metabolism and outcomes and identifies several potential opportunities for improved practice in this area.