Tetsuo Shoji, MD, PhD.
Department of Vascular Medicine
Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Response: Vitamin D is known to be associated with health and disease of various organs such as bone, heart, brain, and others. Vitamin D is activated by the liver and kidneys to a hormone called 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D which binds to vitamin D receptor in cells to exert its functions.
Vitamin D activation is severely impaired in patients with kidney disease requiring hemodialysis therapy, leading to mineral and bone disorder(MBD). Therefore, active form of vitamin D is one of the standard choices of treatment for MBD caused by kidney function loss.
Previous observational cohort studies showed that the use of active vitamin D in hemodialysis patients was associated with lower likelihood of all-cause death, cardiovascular death, and incident cardiovascular disease.Potentially cardio-protective effects of active vitamin D were shown by basic studies using cultured cells and animal models. Then, many nephrologists began to believe that active vitamin D is a “longevity hormone” or a “panacea” for kidney patients requiring dialysis therapy, although there was no evidence by randomized clinical trials.
To show evidence for it, we conducted a randomized clinical trial namedJ-DAVID in which 976 hemodialysis patients were randomly assigned to treatment with oral alfacalcidol or treatment without active vitamin D, and they were followed-up for new cardiovascular events during the four-year period. The risk of cardiovascular events was not significantly different between the two groups. The risk of all-cause death was not significantly different either.
To our surprise, the risk of cardiovascular event tended to be higher in the patients who continued treatment with active vitamin D than those who continued non-use of active vitamin D, although the difference was not statistically significant.
Professor John McGrath
Niels Bohr Professor
National Centre for Register-based Research
Queensland Brain Institute
University of Queensland
Brisbane AustraliaQueensland Centre for Mental Health Research
The Park Centre for Mental Health Australia
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
What are the main findings?
Response: We know that people born in winter and spring have an increased risk of later developing schizophrenia. But, we were not sure why. We know that vitaminD, the sunshine hormone, is more likely to be low in winter and spring, so wedeveloped a way to test for vitamin D in stored neonatal blood sample.
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