Background: Hemodialysis patients who receive vitamin D receptor activator (VDRA) reportedly have better survival after infection than those who do not. However, the optimal route of its administration for minimizing death from infection remains unclear.
Methods: This prospective cohort study aimed to compare the effectiveness of oral versus intravenous VDRA regarding infection-related mortality in 3372 hemodialysis patients. Eligible subjects were divided into the following three groups by route of administration of VDRA: oral (n = 1868), intravenous (n = 492) and not administered (n = 1012). The effect of VDRA on infection-related mortality was examined using a Cox regression model with propensity score-based adjustments.
Results: During follow-up (median, 4.0 years), 118 study patients died of infection. There was a significantly lower incidence of death from infection in subjects who received intravenous VDRA than in those who did not receive VDRA; however, oral VDRA did not significantly reduce the risk of mortality from infection compared with those who did not receive VDRA [hazard ratio (HR) for intravenous VDRA, 0.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.10-0.25, and HR for oral VDRA, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.60-1.01]. Direct comparison between the oral and intravenous VDRA groups showed that the intravenous group had significantly better survival than the oral group (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.27-0.62).
Conclusions: Treatment with intravenous VDRA more effectively reduces the incidence of mortality from infection than oral VDRA in hemodialysis patients.
Keywords: infection; mortality; propensity score; prospective cohort; vitamin D.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of ERA-EDTA. All rights reserved.