Many determinants of parathyroid hormone (PTH) are unknown. In the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), numerous factors not classically associated with calcium-phosphorus homeostasis, such as uric acid and smoking, are independently associated with PTH in adults without chronic kidney disease. Associations between serum phosphorus and PTH may vary by race.
Introduction: Although PTH may be an important biomarker for osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, many determinants of PTH are unknown. We investigated associations between demographic, dietary, and serum factors and PTH level.
Methods: We studied 4,026 white, 1,792 black, and 1,834 Mexican-American adult participants without chronic kidney disease from the 2003-2004 and 2005-2006 NHANES.
Results: The mean serum PTH level was 38.3 pg/ml for whites, 42.6 pg/ml for blacks, and 41.3 pg/ml for Mexican-Americans. After adjusting for diet, body mass index, serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, 25-hydroxyvitamin D, creatinine, and other factors, smokers compared to non-smokers had lower PTH, ranging from -4.2 pg/ml (95% confidence interval (CI) -7.3 to -1.1) in Mexican-Americans to -6.1 pg/ml (95% CI -8.7 to -3.5) in blacks. After multivariate adjustment, PTH was higher in females compared to males, ranging from 1.1 pg/ml (95% CI -1.2 to 3.4) in Mexican-Americans to 4.5 pg/ml (95% CI 1.9 to 7.0) in blacks, and in older (>60 years) compared to younger participants (<30 years), ranging from 3.7 pg/ml (95% CI 1.3 to 6.1) in Mexican-Americans to 8.0 pg/ml (95% CI 5.4 to 10.7) in blacks. Higher uric acid was associated with higher PTH. In whites only, lower serum phosphorus and lower serum retinol were associated with higher PTH.
Conclusions: Numerous factors not classically associated with calcium-phosphorus homeostasis are independently associated with PTH and should be considered in future studies of PTH and chronic disease. Additional research is needed to elucidate mechanisms underlying identified associations with PTH and to explore possible racial differences in phosphorus handling.