Nutritional vitamin D use in chronic kidney disease: A survey of pediatric nephrologists

Lindsay M. Griffin, Michelle R. Denburg, Justine Shults, Susan L. Furth, Isidro B. Salusky, Wenke Hwang, Mary B. Leonard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and infections, in addition to known effects on mineral metabolism. Controversy remains regarding the use of nutritional vitamin D supplementation in chronic kidney disease (CKD), and the supplementation practices of pediatric nephrologists are unknown. Methods: An electronic survey containing eight vignettes was sent to physician members of the International Pediatric Nephrology Association in 2011 to identify physician and patient characteristics that influence nephrologists to supplement CKD patients with nutritional vitamin D. Vignettes contained patient characteristics including light vs dark skin, CKD stage, cause of renal disease, parathyroid hormone (PTH), and 25(OH) vitamin D levels. Multivariate logistic generalized estimating equation regression was used to identify predictors of supplementation. Results: Of 1,084 eligible physicians, 504 (46%) completed the survey. Supplementation was recommended in 73% of cases overall (ranging from 91% of those with vitamin D levels <10 ng/mL to 35% with levels >30). Greater CKD severity was associated with greater recommendation of supplementation, especially for patients with higher vitamin D levels (test for interaction p < 0.0001). PTH level above target for CKD stage was associated with greater recommendation to supplement in pre-dialysis CKD, but did not have an impact on recommendations in dialysis patients (test for interaction p < 0.0001). Skin color, cause of CKD, and albumin levels were not associated with supplementation recommendation. Conclusions: Recommending nutritional vitamin D is common worldwide, driven by CKD stage and vitamin D and PTH levels. Future studies are needed to establish the risks and benefits of supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-275
Number of pages11
JournalPediatric Nephrology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Case vignettes
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Nutrition
  • Pediatrics
  • Survey
  • Vitamin D

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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