Background: Dysregulated serum calcium and FGF23 are associated with increased mortality and morbidity rates in patients receiving hemodialysis. Preliminary data suggest serum calcium regulates FGF23 secretion independently of serum phosphate, parathyroid hormone, and 25-OH vitamin D. It is unclear to what extent dietary and prescription sources of calcium influence calcium and FGF23 levels, and whether they confound this relationship. In this cross-sectional analysis of a multi-ethnic cohort of prevalent hemodialysis patients, association of dietary calcium and prescribed calcium were examined against serum calcium and FGF23. Bi- and multivariable linear regression was used for all analyses. Results: 81 patients (mean age 58 years, dialysis vintage 2 years, 51 men) participated. Dietary calcium was inversely associated with FGF23 (p
= 0.04) however association of FGF23 with prescribed calcium did not reach statistical significance (0.08). In multivariable models, dietary calcium and prescribed calcium were associated in opposing directions with serum calcium (prescribed calcium; ß-coefficient = −0.35, p
= 0.005 versus dietary calcium; ß-coefficient = 0.35, p
= 0.03). FGF23 was independently associated with serum calcium (p
= 0.007). Conclusions: We found differing, sometimes opposing, associations between serum calcium and FGF23 levels when considering prescribed versus dietary sources of calcium. Serum calcium and FGF23 were strongly correlated regardless of possible confounders examined in this hemodialysis cohort. Dietary calcium was associated with higher serum calcium and lower FGF23 concentrations, while prescribed calcium was only inversely associated with serum calcium. Further studies are required to confirm these associations and determine causality.
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