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Am J Nephrol. 2012;36(1):68-77. doi: 10.1159/000339005. Epub 2012 Jun 20.

Phylloquinone and vitamin D status: associations with incident chronic kidney disease in the Framingham Offspring cohort.

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National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute's Framingham Heart Study, MA, USA.



Cardiovascular risk factors are associated with the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD), and CKD and vascular disease are etiologically linked. Evidence suggests deficiencies of vitamins D and K may adversely affect the cardiovascular system, but data from longitudinal studies are lacking. We hypothesized that deficiencies of vitamins D and K may be associated with incident CKD and/or incident albuminuria amongst members of the general population.


We analyzed 1,442 Framingham Heart Study participants (mean age 58 years; 50.5% women), free of CKD (eGFR <60 ml/min/1.73 m(2)), with a mean follow-up of 7.8 years in 2005-2008. Incident albuminuria was defined using sex-specific cut-offs of urine albumin-to-creatinine ratio (≥17 mg/g men and ≥25 mg/g women). Baseline log plasma phylloquinone (vitamin K(1)) and 25(OH)D levels, analyzed as continuous variables and by quartile, were related to risk of incident CKD (n = 108) and incident albuminuria (n = 106) using logistic regression models adjusted for standard risk factors.


Participants in the highest phylloquinone quartile (≥1.78 nmol/l) had an increased risk of CKD (multivariable-adjusted OR Q(4) vs. Q(1) 2.39; p = 0.006) and albuminuria at follow-up (multivariable-adjusted OR Q(4) vs. Q(1) 1.95; p = 0.05), whereas no association was observed with continuous phylloquinone levels for either endpoint. Deficiency of 25(OH)D was not associated with incident CKD or albuminuria in either analysis.


Contrary to our hypothesis, higher plasma phylloquinone levels are associated with an increased risk of incident CKD. Whether plasma phylloquinone is a marker for another unmeasured risk factor requires further study. External validation is necessary given the unexpected nature of these results.

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