Simon Hsu, MD, MS: Are Vitamin D Metabolites a Biomarker for Cardiovascular Disease?

The study shows vitamin D levels do not necessarily forecast the risk of cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Biomarkers are always challenging to identify and validate.

In data presented during the 2022 American Society of Nephrology (ASN) Annual Meeting in Orlando, a team of investigators, led by Simon Hsu, MD, MS, Acting Instructor, University of Washington, looked at whether vitamin D metabolites could be a viable biomarker for cardiovascular disease among patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

The investigators found a trio of vitamin D data points were not significantly associated with the risk of incident cardiovascular disease or with left ventricular mass index.

In the study the investigators looked at the ratio of 24,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 to 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (vitamin D metabolite ratio, VDMR) as a measure that could reflect tissue-level vitamin D receptor activation. However, lower VDMR and 1,25(OH)2D were associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease prior to adjustment, but not after the investigators adjusted for eGFR and proteinuria.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Hsu explained why there was some belief vitamin D could be a viable biomarker and why it is so challenging to find biomarkers in medicine.

“They are difficult to validate,” Hsu said. “Unfortunately there are no randomized trials to my knowledge of vitamin D for cardiovascular disease in patients with chronic kidney disease.”

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