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Saudi Journal of Kidney Diseases and Transplantation
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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 608-613
Effects of Diabetes Mellitus, Age, and Duration of Dialysis on Parathormone in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Hajar Medical, Educational and Therapeutic Center, Shahrekord, Iran
2 Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Hajar Medical, Educational and Therapeutic Center, Shahrekord, Iran

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Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPTH) can develop early in the course of chronic renal failure and becomes more prominent as kidney function declines. We studied the effect of diabetes, age, and dialysis on parathyroid function in 60 (21 women, 39 males; 44 non-diabetic, 16 diabetic) hemodialysis (HD) patients. Serum intact PTH (iPTH), calcium, phosphorus, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and magnesium (Mg) were measured. Adequacy of HD was evaluated by calculating the urea reduction rate (URR). There were significantly lower values of serum iPTH, ALP, and dialysis adequacy among diabetic than non-diabetes HD patients. In addition, there were an inverse correlation of age and serum iPTH (r= -0.27, p= 0.034) as well as age and serum phosphorus (r= -0.28, p= 0.031). There was also a positive correlation between serum iPTH with the duration (r= 0.001, p=0.42) and doses of dialysis treatment (r= 0.38, p= 0.002). We conclude that a significant negative correlation between age and serum phosphorus and lower parathyroid activity in diabetic HD patients, which implies more prevalence of bone disease in elderly diabetic HD patients. Further study of bone disease in this group of patients is required to evaluate its effect on outcome and different therapeutic interventions.

Keywords: Hemodialysis, Hyperparathyroidism, Parathormone, Renal, Failure, Diabetes mellitus

How to cite this article:
Nasri H, Kheiri S. Effects of Diabetes Mellitus, Age, and Duration of Dialysis on Parathormone in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl 2008;19:608-13

How to cite this URL:
Nasri H, Kheiri S. Effects of Diabetes Mellitus, Age, and Duration of Dialysis on Parathormone in Chronic Hemodialysis Patients. Saudi J Kidney Dis Transpl [serial online] 2008 [cited 2022 Nov 28];19:608-13. Available from: https://www.sjkdt.org/text.asp?2008/19/4/608/41322

   Introduction Top

Secondary hyperparathyroidism (SHPTH) is common in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and is characterized by ex­cessive serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels, parathyroid hyperplasia and an im­balance in calcium and phosphorus meta­bolism. [1] PTH is a major uremic toxin. [1],[2] and may be responsible for long-term consequences that include renal osteodystrophy, severe vascular calcifications, alterations in cardiovascular structure and function, immune dysfunction, and anemia. [1],[2],[3] These adverse effects may contribute to an in­creased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality among end-stage renal-failure pa­tients [1],[2],[3],[4] and some of them have been re­ported in our previous studies. [4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9]

Secondary hyperparathyroidism develops eary in the course of CKD and becomes more prominent as kidney function declines. [2] Bone derangement and vascular calcifications are difficult to reverse when established, which mandates early management of SHPTH and consideration of factors in­volved in the activity of the parathyroid glands. [2]

In spite of dramatic advances in our un­derstanding of the pathogenesis, pathophy­siology and sequelae of SHPTH, research is still required to better understand the role of parathormone in hemodialysis (HD) pa­tients. In this regard, studies have shown that the risk of developing SHPT is not the same for all uremic patients. HD patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) may have a lower risk than non-diabetic patients of being affected by SHPTH. [8] Studies demons­trated that diabetics on regular HD have an impaired secretion of parathyroid hormones. [10],[11] Moreover, duration of HD therapy and age of HD patients, with and without DM, may influence serum intact PTH (iPTH) levels. [10]

In this study, we compare the intensity of SHPTH in diabetic and non-diabetic HD patients, and evaluate the effects of age, duration, and doses of dialysis treatment on parathyroid gland function.

   Material and Methods Top

This is a cross-sectional study which was conducted on patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing maintenance HD treatment with acetate basis dialysate and polysulfone membrane. According to the severity of the secondary hyperparathy­roidism, each patient was under treatment for SHPTH with oral active vitamin D3 (Rocaltrol), calcium carbonate, and sevela­mer of various doses. After an overnight fast blood samples were obtained, intact serum PTH (iPTH) was measured by the radio­immunoassay (RIA) method using DSL­8000 kits of USA (normal range of values is 10-65 pg/ml). Also peripheral venous blood samples were collected for bioche­mical analysis including serum pre- and post-dialysis blood urea nitrogen (BUN), calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), alkaline phos­phatase (ALP), and magnesium (Mg) were measured using standard kits.

For measurement of adequacy of HD, urea reduction rate (URR) was calculated from pre- and post-blood urea nitrogen (BUN) data. [12] Body mass index (BMI) calculated using the standard formula (post-dialysis weight in kilograms/ square height in meters, kg/m [2] ). Duration and frequency of HD treatment were calculated from the patients' records. The duration of each HD session was 4 hours.

Statistical analysis

Data are expressed as the mean ± standard deviation (SD). Comparison between the groups was performed using Student's t­test. Statistical correlations were assessed using partial correlation test. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (ver­sion 11.5.00). Statistical significance was determined at p value < 0.05.

   Results Top

We studied 44 were non-diabetic (F=15, M=29) and 16 were diabetic patients (F=6, M=10). The mean age of the patients was 46 ± 18 years. The mean duration of pa­tients on HD was 25 ± 30 months (median: 13 months).

[Table 1] shows the parameters of the stu­dy patients. The mean serum iPTH was 357 ± 395 pg/ml (median: 223 pg/ml). The mean serum ALP levels was 538 ±746 IU/L (median: 347 IU/L).

We did not find any significant differen­ces between age, duration of HD treat­ment, dialysis dose, Ca x P products, URR, serum iPTH, Ca, P, ALP or serum Mg, between males and females was found. However, we observed a significant diffe­rence of dialysis adequacy (as determined by URR) between diabetics and non-diabetic patients (p= 0.006).

[Figure 1] shows that there was a signifi­cantly lower serum ALP and iPTH levels in diabetic than non-diabetic HD patients (p= 0.019, p= 0.022, respectively). However, there were no significant differences of se­rum Ca, P, Mg, and Ca x P products bet­ween diabetics and non-diabetic patients.

[Figure 2] shows that there was a signifi­cant inverse correlation of serum iPTH with age (r=-0.27, p= 0.034) in the study patients.

[Figure 3] shows that there was significant inverse correlation of serum phosphorus with age (r= -0.28, p= 0.031). However, there were no significant correlations between age and serum calcium or Mg.

Other findings included a significant in­verse correlation of dialysis adequacy with age as determined by URR (r=-0.33, p= 0.008), and a significant positive correlation of serum ALP with serum iPTH in the study patients (r= 0.55, p< 0.001) (adjusted for age). This association in diabetic and non-diabetic populations were (r= 0.48, p= 0.091) and (r= 0.51, p= 0.001), respectively. Significant positive correlations of serum iPTH with duration (r= 0.001, p= 0.42) and hemodialysis doses (r= 0.38, p= 0.002) were found too (data were age adjusted).

   Discussion Top

The principal findings of this study were the significant differences between serum iPTH, serum ALP, and URR between dia­betics and non-diabetic hemodialysis pa­tients, with lower values in the diabetic group. In addition, inverse correlations bet­ween serum phosphorus, serum ALP and the adequacy of HD with patients' age were found. Moreover, positive correlations between serum iPTH, and duration and of hemodialysis were also found.

An increase of parathyroid hormone (PTH) levels with age was reported in some studies. [13] Endres et al, [14] demonstrated anage-related increase in PTH, and that alte­rations in phosphate and calcium metabo­lism were consistent with it in both healthy men and women. However, several studies including ours, have suggested inverse cor­relation between age and serum parathy­roid in hemodialysis patients. [15] The patho­physiological basis of this age-related dec­line in serum iPTH levels remains unclear.

In a study conducted by Lorenzo et al [15] revealed an inverse and significant correla­tion between age and protein intake, calorie intake, serum phosphorus concentration, and PTH levels in addition to a significant po­sitive correlation between serum phospho­rus and PTH levels. They suggested that a lower serum phosphorus level could be due to spontaneous reduction of protein intake, which might contribute to the relative low PTH levels observed in elderly hemodia­lysis patients. [15]

Mehrotra et al, [16] In a study on 92 main­tenance hemodialysis patients concluded that age was inversely correlated with both se­rum phosphorus and iPTH, and that these relationships remained significant even when the data were adjusted for diabetic status, duration on dialysis, and diet. However, they suggested that reduced responsiveness of parathyroid glands may be more related to age-dependent accumulation of uremic toxins than to reduction in protein intake. [16]

Compatible with our results, Salem [17] found that 50% of HD patients developed serum PTH levels more than three times normal, whereas 25% developed reduced PTH levels, and that diabetic patients were less likely to have elevated PTH levels than non­diabetic patients. Moreover, Guh et al, [18] found that HD patients with diabetes were older, received a shorter duration of dia­lysis therapy, and revealed lower PTH, phosphate, albumin, BUN, and creatinine levels, as well as URRs. However, they concluded that relative hypoparathyroidism was not associated with diabetes per se, but more related to age, duration of dialysis, and levels of ionized calcium, phosphate, albu­min, and magnesium. Another study by Vincenti et al [19] also demonstrated that dia­betic patients developed significantly lower serum calcium and immunoreactive para­thyroid hormone levels than non-diabetic patients. Serum iPTH was not related to total serum calcium, but was positively correlated with serum phosphorous in non­diabetic and diabetic patients, and iPTH was only correlated with alkaline phosphatase in non-diabetic patients. [19] A third study by Inaba et al, [10] also concluded that serum iPTH levels were significantly lower in HD patients with DM than those without DM.

We speculate from our results and the above studies that insidious malnutrition and accumulation of uremic toxins, which is often found in the elderly, might reduce the responsiveness of the parathyroid glands.

We conclude that a significant negative correlation between age and serum phos­phorus and lower parathyroid activity in diabetic HD patients, which implies more prevalence of bone disease in elderly dia­betic HD patients. Further study of bone disease in this group of patients is required to evaluate its effect on outcome and diffe­rent therapeutic interventions.

   References Top

1.Horl WH. Secondary hyperparathyroidism: present and future therapeutic implications. Nephrol Dial Transplant 2002;17(5):732-3.  Back to cited text no. 1    
2.Moe SM, Drueke TB. Management of secondary hyperparathyroidism: the Im­portance and the challenge of controlling parathyroid hormone levels without ele­vating calcium, phosphorus, and calcium­phosphorus product. Am J Nephrol 2003; 23(6):369-79.  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Okuno S. Extraskeletal actions of para­thyroid hormone in hemodialysis patients. Clin Calcium 2004;14(1):27-31.  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Nasri H, Baradaran A, Naderi AS. A close association between parathyroid hormone and left ventricular function and structure in end-stage renal failure patients under maintenance hemodialysis. Acta Medica Austriaca 2004;31(3):67-72.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Nasri H, Baradaran A. Long-lasting advanced primary hyperparathyroidism associated with end-stage renal failure in a diabetic patients. Acta Med Iran 2004 ;42(6):461-6.  Back to cited text no. 5    
6.Nasri H. Intensification of anemia by secondary hyperparathyroidism in hemo­dialysis patients. Iran J Med Sci 2003; 28(4):195-7.  Back to cited text no. 6    
7.Nasri H, Baradaran A, Doroudgar F, Ganji F. Relationship of conjunctival and corneal calcification with secondary hyperparathy­roidism in hemodialysis patients. Iran J Med Sci 2003;28(2):86-9.  Back to cited text no. 7    
8.Nasri H. Pulmonary artery pressure in association with serum parathormone in maintenance hemodialysis patients. Arch Med Sci 2006;2(1):32-5.  Back to cited text no. 8    
9.Nasri H. Baradaran A. Secondary hyper­parathyroidism in association with malnu­trition-inflammation complex syndrome in chronic hemodialysis. Ann King Edward Med Coll 2005;11(3):301-6.  Back to cited text no. 9    
10.Inaba M, Okuno S, Nagasue K, Otoshi T, Kurioka Y, Maekawa K. Impaired secretion of parathyroid hormone is coherent to diabetic hemodialyzed patients. Am J Kidney Dis 2001;38(4 Suppl 1):S139-42.  Back to cited text no. 10    
11.Grzegorzewska AE, Mariak I. Parathyroid hormone contributes to variations in blood morphology in diabetic and non diabetic patients treated with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Adv Perit Dial 2001;17:5-9.  Back to cited text no. 11  [PUBMED]  
12.Boag JT. Basic truths in optimal hemodia­lysis, dialysis & transplantation, 1994;23(11): 636. Available from:   Back to cited text no. 12    
13.Haden ST, Brown EM, Hurwitz S, Scott J, El-Hajj Fuleihan G. The effects of age and gender on parathyroid hormone dynamics. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf) 2000;52(3):329-38.  Back to cited text no. 13    
14.Endres DB, Morgan CH, Garry PJ, Omdahl JL. Age-related changes in serum immuno­reactive parathyroid hormone and its bio­logical action in healthy men and women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1987;65(4):724-31.  Back to cited text no. 14    
15.Lorenzo V, Martin M, Rufino M, Jimenez A, Malo AM, Sanchez E. Protein intake, control of serum phosphorus, and rela­tively low levels of parathyroid hormone in elderly hemodialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis 2002;39:6  Back to cited text no. 15    
16.Mehrotra R, Supasyndh O, Berman N, Kaysen G, Hurst L, Leonardi M. Age­related decline in serum parathyroid hormone in maintenance hemodialysis patients is independent of inflammation and dietary nutrient intake. J Ren Nutr 2004;14(3):134-42.  Back to cited text no. 16    
17.Salem MM. Hyperparathyroidism in the hemodialysis population: a survey of 612 patients. Am J Kidney Dis 1997;29(6): 862-5.  Back to cited text no. 17    
18.Guh JY, Chen HC, Chuang HY, Huang SC, Chien LC, Lai YH. Risk factors and risk for mortality of mild hypoparathy­roidism in hemodialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis 1997;29(6):862-5.  Back to cited text no. 18    
19.Vincenti F, Arnaud SB, Recker R, Genant H, Amend WJ Jr, Feduska NJ. Parathyroid and bone response of the diabetic patient to uremia. Kidney Int 1984;25(4):677-82.  Back to cited text no. 19    

Correspondence Address:
Hamid Nasri
Department of Internal Medicine, Shahrekord University of Medical Sciences, Hajar Medical, Educational and Therapeutic Center, Shahrekord
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 18580021

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