The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) in 2009 listed more than 871,000 Americans as having Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) stage 5, reports the website, Medical Xpress. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of people with End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) die each year. The levels of Parathyroid Hormone (PTH), a hormone that makes calcium available in the blood for important body functions, is a major contributor to increased death risk in CKD patients. When PTH levels are out of balance (too low or too high) the likelihood of mortality is significantly higher in those with CKD. However a very recent study to be published in the December 2013 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, identified a new PTH testing method that can better detect potentially fatal imbalances in people with CKD.
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When PTH interacts with oxygen (oxidize) under conditions of stress it becomes biologically inactive. While all current PTH level tests overlook this important factor, the new method is the first to differentiate between biologically active non-oxidized PTH and oxidized PTH. "This will result in better monitoring and treatment for patients who have end-stage renal disease," said the study's lead author, Berthod Hocher MD, PhD. The "more precise" testing will provide Nephrologists the information they need to improve clinical outcomes in those with CKD. Hocher said, "The nephrology community has long recognized there is an issue with current testing approaches, and now we can solve this problem and improve patient care."
In the study researchers monitored a group of 340 dialysis patients over the course of a five-year period. Upon follow up they found 170 (50%) participants with PTH imbalance above the upper normal range of 70 ng/L, had died mostly from cardiovascular disease (60%), infections (23%), cancer (11%) or other causes (6%). Those who survived had higher median levels of non-oxidized PTH than the study participants who died. The study concluded that an increased rate of survival occurred among the dialysis patients who had the highest levels of non-oxidized parathyroid hormone. KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss this new method of determining PTH balance to increase chances of survival and improve your quality of life, especially if you have ESRD.
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"Testing Technique Could Lengthen Lifespan of Dialysis Patients." Medicalxpress.com. The Endocrine Society
"Improved Detection of PTH Imbalance May Benefit Dialysis Patients." Healio.com. Healio