Given the burden of posttransplant diabetes mellitus and the high prevalence of low vitamin D levels in kidney transplant recipients, it is reasonable to consider vitamin D as a novel and potentially modifiable risk factor in this patient population.
To determine the association between 25- hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) level and posttransplant diabetes among kidney transplant recipients. Design: In a multi-center cohort study of 442 patients who received a kidney transplant between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2010, serum samples within one-year before transplant were analyzed for 25(OH)D levels. The association between 25(OH)D and posttransplant diabetes were examined in Cox proportional hazard models.
The median 25(OH)D level was 66 nmol/L. The cumulative probability of diabetes at 12-months by quartiles of 25(OH)D ( 95 nmol/L) were 23.4%, 26.9%, 21.4%, and 15.6%, respectively. Compared to the highest 25(OH)D quartile, hazard ratios (95% CI) for the risk were 1.85 (1.03, 3.32), 2.01 (1.12, 3.60), 1.77 (0.96, 3.25) across the first to third quartiles, respectively. The associations were accentuated in a model restricted to patients on tacrolimus. When modeled as a continuous variable, 25(OH)D levels were significantly associated with a higher risk of diabetes (hazard ratio 1.06, 95% CI: 1.01, 1.13 per 10 nmol/L decrease).
Serum 25(OH)D was an independent predictor of posttransplant diabetes in kidney transplant recipients. These results may inform the design of trials using vitamin D to reduce the risk in kidney transplant recipients.