Vitamin D deficiency in kidney disease patients in Singapore

11 Jul 2014. Vitamin D deficiency was found to be prevalent among multiethnic non-dialysis chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients in Singapore.

Despite being a sun-rich country, the majority of non-dialysis CKD patients in Singapore were found to have suboptimal vitamin D status. Vitamin D deficiency is associated with mineral and bone disorder in these patients. The study, conducted by a team led by Professor Priscilla HOW from Department of Pharmacy NUS, found that 87% of 196 patients in the group of non-dialysis CKD patients at a local academic medical center were vitamin D insufficient or deficient . Although vitamin D levels were comparable among patients at various CKD stages, the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was highest in patients with stage-5 CKD. The prevalence of vitamin D deficiency was also highest amongst female patients and those of Malay and Indian ethnicity. Several risk factors were found to be associated with this deficiency, including absence of vitamin D supplementation, diabetes, non-cancer diagnosis, young age. “The survey results are significant as they provide a guide for local healthcare professionals to make decisions on vitamin D supplementation for patients who are at risk, before their kidney function deteriorates.” said Prof HOW. The results also help clinicians to decide to start vitamin D therapy early to prevent complications associated with its deficiency (see Figure).


 The synthesis of vitamin D (Image credit: Priscilla HOW. The role of the pharmacist in the identification and management of secondary hyperthyroidism. US Pharmacist, July 2007).  


  1. Ngai M, Lin V, HC Wong, Vathsala A, How P. "Vitamin D Status and its Association with Mineral and Bone Disorders in a Multi-Ethnic Chronic Kidney Disease Population in Southeast Asia." Clin Nephrol (in press).
  2. Loh ZY, Yap CW, Vathsala A, How P. "Clinical and Demographic Predictors for Vitamin D Deficiency in Multi-Ethnic Asian Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease." Clin Kidney J 5 (2012) 303.