Impact of kidney bone disease and its management on survival of patients on dialysis

J Ren Nutr. 2007 Jan;17(1):38-44. doi: 10.1053/j.jrn.2006.07.006.


Despite the enormous cardiovascular disease epidemic and poor survival among individuals with chronic kidney disease (CKD), traditional risk factors such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, and obesity appear not as relevant as was previously thought, nor would their management improve survival in patients with CKD who are undergoing dialysis. On the contrary, kidney disease wasting (KDW) (also known as the malnutrition-inflammation complex), renal anemia, and kidney bone disease (KBD) appear to be the 3 most important nontraditional risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease in CKD. KBD-associated hyperparathyroidism may contribute to worsening refractory anemia and KDW/inflammation. The main cause of secondary hyperparathyroidism is active vitamin D deficiency. Hence, treatment of patients with KBD with vitamin D analogs, especially those with lesser effects on calcium and phosphorus such as paricalcitol, may be the most promising option for improving CKD outcomes. By conducting survival analyses in a 2-year (7/2001 to 6/2003) cohort of 58,058 patients on hemodialysis, we recently found that associations between high serum parathyroid hormone and increased death risk were masked by the demographic and clinical characteristics of patients, and that alkaline phosphatase had an incremental association with mortality. Administration of paricalcitol was associated with improved survival in time-varying models. We now present additional subgroup analyses that show that administration of any dose of paricalcitol, when compared with no paricalcitol, is associated with better likelihood of survival in virtually all subgroups of patients on hemodialysis. Because these associations may be secondary to bias by indication, randomized clinical trials are necessary to verify the findings of this and similar observational studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / etiology
  • Chronic Kidney Disease-Mineral and Bone Disorder / mortality*
  • Ergocalciferols / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / drug therapy*
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / etiology
  • Hyperparathyroidism, Secondary / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Vitamin D
  • paricalcitol