05/20/2007 - News

Something New to Worry About - Phosphorus

By: Robert W. Griffith, MD


Something New to Worry About - Phosphorus

Robert W. Griffith, MD

It's long been known that raised levels of serum phosphorus, as well as the product of calcium-times-phosphorus blood levels, are linked to increased mortality in people with chronic kidney disease or cardiovascular disease. However, it hasn't been known, until now, whether phosphorus levels are associated with increased risk in people without chronic kidney or cardiovascular disease. A new report in the Archives of Internal Medicine fills that gap in our knowledge.

Data from the Framingham Offspring Study were used. Over 3,350 participants who were free of chronic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease provided blood samples for serum phosphorus and calcium levels. After 16 years there had been 524 cardiovascular 'events' - angina, heart attack, sudden cardiac death, etc. Analysis showed that serum phosphate levels were associated with an increased cardiovascular risk; those persons in the highest quarter of serum phosphate levels had 1.55 times the likelihood of a cardiovascular event than those in the lowest quarter. Serum calcium levels showed no such relationship.

Next time you have a full blood chemistry panel, have a look at the phosphorus level (it's one you and your doctor probably ignore). The normal values lie between 2.4 and 4.1 mg/dL.

HealthandAge Blog

Created on: 05/20/2007
Reviewed on: 05/20/2007

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