Low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25[OH]D) levels have been associated with chronic kidney disease in cross-sectional studies. However, this association has not been studied prospectively in a large general population-based cohort.
Prospective cohort study.
6,180 adults 25 years or older participating in the baseline and 5-year follow-up phases of the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle (AusDiab) Study.
Serum 25(OH)D levels <15 ng/mL were considered deficient.
Incident chronic kidney disease was defined as being negative at baseline but positive after 5 years for (1) reduced estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR; <60 mL/min/1.72 m²) or (2) albuminuria (spot urine albumin-creatinine ratio ≥2.5 mg/mmol [≥22.1 mg/g] for men and ≥3.5 mg/mmol [≥30.9 mg/g] for women).
623 (10.9%) participants were vitamin D deficient, 161 developed incident reduced eGFR, and 222 developed incident albuminuria. In participants with and without vitamin D deficiency, annual age-standardized incidences were 0.92% (95% CI, 0.56%-1.30%) and 0.59% (95% CI, 0.51%-0.68%), respectively, for eGFR <60 mL/min/1.72 m² and 1.50% (95% CI, 1.06%-1.95%) and 0.66% (95% CI, 0.56%-0.76%), respectively, for albuminuria. In multivariate regression models, vitamin D deficiency was associated significantly with the 5-year incidence of albuminuria (OR, 1.71; 95% CI, 1.12-2.61; P = 0.01), but not reduced eGFR (OR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.53-1.66; P = 0.8).
The observational nature of the study does not account for unmeasured confounders. Only baseline 25(OH)D level was measured and therefore may not accurately reflect lifetime levels. Differences in baseline characteristics of participants who were included compared with those excluded due to missing data or follow-up may limit the applicability of results to the original AusDiab cohort.
Our prospective cohort study shows that vitamin D deficiency is associated with a higher annual incidence of albuminuria and reduced eGFR and independently predicts the 5-year incidence of albuminuria. These associations warrant further exploration in long-term prospective clinical trials.