Estimated GFR and circulating 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 concentration: a participant-level analysis of 5 cohort studies and clinical trials

Am J Kidney Dis. 2014 Aug;64(2):187-97. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2014.02.015. Epub 2014 Apr 3.


Background: Decreased glomerular filtration rate (GFR) leads to reduced production of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 from 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25[OH]D3). Effects of low GFR on vitamin D catabolism are less well understood. We tested associations of estimated GFR (eGFR) with the circulating concentration of 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (24,25[OH]2D3), the most abundant product of 25(OH)D3 catabolism, across populations with a wide range of GFRs.

Study design: Cross-sectional study.

Setting & participants: 9,596 participants in 5 cohort studies and clinical trials: the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (N=1,193), Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (N=6,470), Cardiovascular Health Study (N=932), Seattle Kidney Study (N=289), and Hemodialysis Study (N=712).

Predictor: eGFR.

Outcome: Circulating 24,25(OH)2D3 concentration.

Measurements: GFR was estimated from serum creatinine using the Chronic Kidney Disease Epidemiology Collaboration equation. Vitamin D metabolites were measured by mass spectrometry.

Results: Circulating 24,25(OH)2D3 concentration was correlated with circulating 25(OH)D3 concentration (Pearson r range, 0.64-0.88). This correlation was weaker with lower eGFRs. Moreover, the increment in 24,25(OH)2D3 concentration associated with higher 25(OH)D3 concentration (slope) was lower with lower eGFRs: 2.06 (95% CI, 2.01-2.10), 1.77 (95% CI, 1.74-1.81), 1.55 (95% CI, 1.48-1.62), 1.17 (95% CI, 1.05-1.29), 0.92 (95% CI, 0.74-1.10), 0.61 (95% CI, 0.22-1.00), and 0.37 (95% CI, 0.35-0.39) ng/mL of 24,25(OH)2D3 per 10 ng/mL of 25(OH)D3 for eGFRs≥90, 60-89, 45-59, 30-44, 15-29, and <15 mL/min/1.73 m2 and end-stage renal disease treated with hemodialysis, respectively. As a result, at a 25(OH)D3 concentration of 20 ng/mL, mean 24,25(OH)2D3 concentrations were 2.92 (95% CI, 2.87-2.96), 2.68 (95% CI, 2.64-2.72), 2.35 (95% CI, 2.26-2.45), 1.92 (95% CI, 1.74-2.10), 1.69 (95% CI, 1.43-1.95), 1.14 (95% CI, 0.62-1.66), and 1.04 (95% CI,1.02-1.07) ng/mL for each category, respectively. This interaction was independent of other relevant clinical characteristics. Race, diabetes, urine albumin excretion, and circulating parathyroid hormone and fibroblast growth factor 23 concentrations more modestly modified the association of 24,25(OH)2D3 with 25(OH)D3.

Limitations: Lack of direct pharmacokinetic measurements of vitamin D catabolism.

Conclusions: Lower eGFR is associated strongly with reduced vitamin D catabolism, as measured by circulating 24,25(OH)2D3 concentration.

Keywords: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3; 25-hydroxyvitamin D3; Decreased renal function; active vitamin D; biomarker; chronic kidney disease (CKD); low estimated glomerular filtration rate; vitamin D catabolism.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • 24,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D 3 / blood*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Cohort Studies
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / diagnosis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / blood*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Observational Studies as Topic / methods*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic / methods*
  • Young Adult


  • Biomarkers
  • 24,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D 3

Grant support