The use of vitamin D analogs is independently associated with the favorable renal prognosis in chronic kidney disease stages 4-5: the CKD-ROUTE study

Clin Exp Nephrol. 2017 Jun;21(3):481-487. doi: 10.1007/s10157-016-1300-x. Epub 2016 Jun 25.


Background: Vitamin D analogs have generally been recommended for treatment of mineral bone disease in chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the association between this treatment and CKD progression has not yet been established.

Methods: We designed a post hoc propensity score-matched cohort analysis derived from 3-year follow-up data of a prospective cohort. Adult participants with pre-dialysis CKD stages 4-5 who had newly been prescribed active vitamin D analogs during the observation period were eligible as matched cases. Then, matched controls were extracted from participants who had never been prescribed active vitamin D analogs. The primary outcome was a composite of end-stage renal disease or a 50 % reduction in estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR). A Cox proportional hazards model evaluated the association between the use of vitamin D analogs and the primary outcome.

Results: We enrolled 240 patients (males, 65 %). The number of matched cases and controls was 30 and 210, respectively. The primary outcome was observed in 94 patients, whereas 25 patients died. The mean ± standard deviation age and eGFR were 69 ± 12 years and 17 ± 5.7 ml/min/1.73 m2, respectively. In a Cox proportional hazard model, the use of vitamin D analogs was independently associated with a lower risk of the primary outcome (crude hazard ratio 0.41; 95 % confidence interval 0.19, 0.89; adjusted hazard ratio 0.38; 95 % confidence interval 0.17, 0.88).

Conclusion: The use of vitamin D analogs is independently associated with the preservation of renal function in patients with pre-dialysis CKD stages 4-5.

Keywords: Chronic kidney disease; End-stage renal disease; Mineral bone disease; Vitamin D.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Glomerular Filtration Rate / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Kidney / drug effects*
  • Kidney / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Propensity Score
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prospective Studies
  • Protective Factors
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / diagnosis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy*
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin D / adverse effects
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin D