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Kidney Int Suppl. 1997 Nov;62:S69-71.

Is the bone mass of hemodialysis patients genetically determined?

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Department of Internal Medicine, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Japan.


Polymorphism of the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) has been linked to bone mineral density in twins, postmenopausal osteoporosis, and premenopausal woman. We examined the possibility that the bone mass in hemodialysis (HD) patients might be determined by VDR. The study consisted of 229 HD patients with a mean age of 53.3 years (range 21 to 83), who were dialyzed three times a week for an average of 8.65 (range 0.2 to 24) years. We determined their VDR using DNA of peripheral white blood cells by restriction enzyme BsmI and the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism method. Bone mineral content (BMC) was estimated at 1/3 of the radius using dual energy X-ray bone absorptiometry, and expressed in z-scores standardized by gender and age. Distributions of VDR in this hemodialysis population were BB (9.9%), Bb (13.1%), and bb (77.0%), showing no significant different from those in 105 healthy volunteers (BB, 7.6%; Bb, 13.3%; and bb, 79.0%). Multiple regression analysis revealed that gender, age, duration on HD, and serum osteocalcin are major determinants of BMC (r = 0.762, P < 0.001), while VDR and serum parathyroid hormone are not. In a subgroup with younger (< 65 years) patients dialyzed for less than 8.65 years, the z-score of BMC of patients with BB allele was less than those with Bb and bb allele (N = 77, P = 0.020). We conclude that vitamin D receptor polymorphism is not one of the main determinants of BMC of HD patients, though it might partially effect bone mass in a subgroup of younger HD patients with shorter HD histories. Further studies with longitudinal observation will be needed to confirm these possibilities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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