Background. Hemodialysis patients who receive vitamin D receptor activator (VDRA) reportedly have better survival after infection than those who do not. However, the optimal route of its administration for minimizing death from infection remains unclear. Methods. This prospective cohort study aimed to compare the effectiveness of oral versus intravenous VDRA regarding infection- related mortality in 3372 hemodialysis patients. Eligible subjects were divided into the following three groups by route of administration of VDRA: oral (n = 1868), intravenous (n = 492) and not administered (n = 1012). The effect of VDRA on infection-related mortality was examined using a Cox regression model with propensity score-based adjustments. Results. During follow-up (median, 4.0 years), 118 study patients died of infection. There was a significantly lower incidence of death from infection in subjects who received intravenous VDRA than in those who did not receive VDRA; however, oral VDRA did not significantly reduce the risk of mortality from infection compared with those who did not receive VDRA [hazard ratio (HR) for intravenous VDRA, 0.16; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.10-0.25, and HR for oral VDRA, 0.78; 95% CI, 0.60-1.01]. Direct comparison between the oral and intravenous VDRA groups showed that the intravenous group had significantly better survival than the oral group (HR, 0.39; 95% CI, 0.27-0.62). Conclusions. Treatment with intravenous VDRA more effectively reduces the incidence of mortality from infection than oral VDRA in hemodialysis patients.
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