Researchers at the University of Miami have identified a new marker to predict progressive kidney failure, death.
They have found that a high level of a hormone that regulates phosphate is associated with an increased risk of kidney failure and death among chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients.
Senior study author Myles Wolf, M.D., M.M.Sc., at the University of Miami, believes this discovery could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment of phosphate problems.
Treatment typically consists of dietary phosphate restriction and phosphate binders — medications that work like a sponge to soak up phosphate in the gut.
Our bodies need phosphorus to build and repair bones and teeth, help cells function and maintain DNA. With fine-tuned regulation from hormones like FGF23, the kidneys help control the amount of phosphate in the blood by eliminating the excess.
Elevated phosphate levels are often a consequence of advanced kidney disease or damage. But too much phosphate may also make kidney disease worse, Wolf said.
The study was recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.