Improvement of fatigue after vitamin D supplementation in kidney transplant recipients

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Abstract

Low serum levels of vitamin D have been associated with fatigue in both healthy and clinical populations. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of vitamin D supplementation on fatigue in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). In total, 137 patients after kidney transplant and 119 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers were recruited. Serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) were measured by competitive protein-binding assay. Fatigue was assessed using the subscale fatigue of the Checklist Individual Strength (CIS). Of all KTRs, 60 patients without initial vitamin D3 supplementation were started on vitamin D3 supplementation (cholecalciferol) 800 IU/d, with a follow-up examination after 3.0 to 9.0 months (mean, 6 months). Fatigue was found in 40.1% of KTRs. Serum 25(OH)D levels were inversely and independently associated with CIS scores in KTRs (P = .002). In the 60 patients who received vitamin D3 supplementation, 25(OH)D was overall increased at follow-up with 18.5% (P = .004) and CIS scores improved with 10.0% (P = .007). As vitamin D has beneficial effects on fatigue scores in KTRs, we suggest monitoring this parameter in KTRs and supplementation with vitamin D3 when vitamin D levels are low.

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