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1.  Association of Cumulatively Low or High Serum Calcium Levels with Mortality in Long-Term Hemodialysis Patients 
American Journal of Nephrology  2010;32(5):403-413.
Background
The outcome-predictability of baseline and instantaneously changing serum calcium in hemodialysis patients has been examined. We investigated the mortality-predictability of time-averaged calcium values to reflect the ‘cumulative’ effect of calcium burden over time.
Methods
We employed a Cox model using up-to-5-year (7/2001–6/2006) time-averaged values to examine the mortality-predictability of cumulative serum calcium levels in 107,200 hemodialysis patients prior to the use of calcimimetics, but during the time where other calcium-lowering interventions, including lower dialysate calcium, were employed.
Results
Both low (<9.0 mg/dl) and high (>10.0 mg/dl) calcium levels were associated with increased mortality (reference: 9.0 to <9.5 mg/dl). Whereas mortality of hypercalcemia was consistent, hypocalcemia mortality was most prominent with higher serum phosphorus (>3.5 mg/dl) and PTH levels (>150 pg/ml). Higher paricalcitol doses shifted the calcium range associated with the greatest survival to the right, i.e. from 9.0 to <9.5 to 9.5 to <10.0 mg/dl. African-Americans exhibited the highest death hazard ratio of hypocalcemia <8.5 mg/dl, being 1.35 (95% CI: 1.22–1.49). Both a rise and drop in serum calcium over 6 months were associated with increased mortality compared to the stable group.
Conclusions
Whereas in hemodialysis patients cumulatively high or low calcium levels are associated with higher death risk, subtle but meaningful interactions with phosphorus, PTH, paricalcitol dose and race exist.
doi:10.1159/000319861
PMCID: PMC2941140  PMID: 20814200
Hypocalcemia; Hypercalcemia; Phosphorus; Hyperparathyroidism; Racial disparities; Mineral and bone disorder; Chronic kidney disease; Paricalcitol
2.  Racial and Ethnic Differences in Mortality of Hemodialysis Patients: Role of Dietary and Nutritional Status and Inflammation 
American Journal of Nephrology  2011;33(2):157-167.
Background
Racial/ethnic disparities prevail among hemodialysis patients. We hypothesized that significant differences exist between Black and non-Hispanic and Hispanic White hemodialysis patients in nutritional status, dietary intake and inflammation, and that they account for racial survival disparities.
Methods
In a 6-year (2001–2007) cohort of 799 hemodialysis patients, we compared diet and surrogates of nutritional-inflammatory status and their mortality-predictabilities between 279 Blacks and 520 Whites using matched and regression analyses and Cox with cubic splines.
Results
In age-, gender- and diabetes-matched analyses, Blacks had higher lean body mass and serum prealbumin, creatinine and homocysteine levels than Whites. In case-mix-adjusted analyses, dietary intakes in Blacks versus Whites were higher in energy (+293 ± 119 cal/day) and fat (+18 ± 5 g/day), but lower in fiber (−2.9 ± 1.3 g/day) than Whites. In both races, higher serum albumin, prealbumin and creatinine were associated with greater survival, whereas CRP and IL-6, but not TNF-α, were associated with increased mortality. The highest (vs. lowest) quartile of IL-6 was associated with a 2.4-fold (95% CI: 1.3–3.8) and 4.1-fold (2.2–7.2) higher death risk in Blacks and Whites, respectively.
Conclusions
Significant racial disparities exist in dietary, nutritional and inflammatory measures, which may contribute to hemodialysis outcome disparities. Testing race-specific dietary and/or anti-inflammatory interventions is indicated.
doi:10.1159/000323972
PMCID: PMC3202917  PMID: 21293117
Black race; Hispanic ethnicity; African Americans; Non-Hispanic White; Nutritional status; Inflammatory markers; Dietary intake; Survival
3.  CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 Polymorphisms and Blood Pressure Response to Amlodipine among African-American Men and Women with Early Hypertensive Renal Disease 
American Journal of Nephrology  2009;31(2):95-103.
Purpose
To explore the association between CYP3A4 and CYP3A5 gene polymorphisms and blood pressure response to amlodipine among participants from the African-American Study of Kidney Disease and Hypertension Trial randomized to amlodipine (n = 164).
Methods
Cox proportional hazards models were used to determine the risk of reaching a target mean arterial pressure (MAP) of ≤107 mm Hg by CYP3A4 (A–392G and T16090C) and CYP3A5 (A6986G) gene polymorphisms, stratified by MAP randomization group (low or usual) and controlling for other predictors for blood pressure response.
Results
Women randomized to a usual MAP goal with an A allele at CYP3A4 A–392G were more likely to reach a target MAP of 107 mm Hg. The adjusted hazard ratio (AA/AG compared to GG) with 95% confidence interval was 3.41 (1.20–9.64; p = 0.020). Among participants randomized to a lower MAP goal, those with the C allele at CYP3A4 T16090C were more likely to reach target MAP: The adjusted hazard ratio was 2.04 (1.17–3.56; p = 0.010). After adjustment for multiple testing using a threshold significance level of p = 0.016, only the CYP3A4 T16090C SNP remained significant. CYP3A5 A6986G was not associated with blood pressure response.
Conclusions
Our findings suggest that blood pressure response to amlodipine among high-risk African-Americans appears to be determined by CYP3A4 genotypes, and sex specificity may be an important consideration. Clinical applications of CYP3A4 genotype testing for individualized treatment regimens warrant further study.
doi:10.1159/000258688
PMCID: PMC2853591  PMID: 19907160
Pharmacogenetics; Hypertension; Amlodipine; Renal failure; CYP3A polymorphisms; AASK; African-Americans
4.  Risk Factors for Chronic Kidney Disease among American Indians and Alaska Natives – Findings from the Kidney Early Evaluation Program 
American Journal of Nephrology  2008;29(5):440-446.
Background
American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) have a high incidence of end-stage renal disease. Less is known about chronic kidney disease (CKD) among AIAN and whether risk factors differ for low estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) versus albuminuria with a normal eGFR.
Methods
Cross-sectional study examining the associations of age, sex, smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, family history, and geographic region with CKD among a screened population of AIAN participants in the Kidney Early Evaluation Program from 2000 to 2006. CKD was defined by the presence of either a low eGFR, <60 ml/min/1.73 m2, or albuminuria, a urine albumin/creatinine ratio ≥30 mg/g.
Results
The prevalence of any CKD was 29%, of low eGFR was 17%, and of albuminuria with a normal eGFR was 12%. Older age was the strongest predictor of low eGFR (61+ years OR 8.42, 95% CI 5.92–11.98), followed by hypertension (OR 2.38, 95% CI 1.74–3.26). In contrast, diabetes (OR 2.04, 95% CI 1.57–2.64) and hypertension (OR 2.63, 95% CI 1.93–3.59) were the only predictors of albuminuria among persons with a normal eGFR.
Conclusion
The burden of CKD was high among this screened population of AIAN, and different risk factor patterns were associated with low eGFR and albuminuria. Innovative programs and longitudinal research are needed to address CKD among AIAN.
doi:10.1159/000174857
PMCID: PMC2821946  PMID: 19011277
Chronic kidney disease; Risk factors; American Indians; Alaska Natives

Results 1-4 (4)