Background: The development of de novo diabetes mellitus is a serious complication of kidney transplantation. This study examined the cardiovascular risk profile of patients with post-transplant diabetes (PTDM) and assessed the impact of PTDM on patient survival.
Methods: This analysis included 1811 adult, renal allograft recipients, transplanted in a single institution between 1983 and 1998. Patient survival was analyzed by univariable and multivariable Cox regression considering PTDM as a time dependent variable.
Results: After a follow-up period of 8.3 +/- 4.5 years, 293 patients (20%) developed PTDM, 14% lost their graft, and 20% died. Compared to patients without DM (NoDM, N = 1186) patients with PTDM were significantly older (40 +/- 14 vs. 48 +/- 12 years, P < 0.001), heavier (76 +/- 23 vs. 86 +/- 25 kg, P < 0.001), and included more African Americans (18 vs. 28%, P = 0.001). In addition, the incidence of PTDM was significantly higher in patients who were transplanted after 1995 than prior to that year. In contrast, there were no significant differences between PTDM and patients who had DM before the transplant (DM; N = 332). Compared to NoDM, patients with PTDM had significantly higher total serum cholesterol and triglycerides (TG), higher systolic blood pressure and higher pulse pressure throughout the post-transplant period. Of interest, all of these abnormalities preceded the development of PTDM. Hypertriglyceridemia was particularly pronounced in PTDM and elevated TG levels correlated with the subsequent development of PTDM, independent of other risk factors (P = 0.001 by multivariate Cox). Compared to NoDM (16% mortality) a significantly higher percent of DM (31%, P < 0.001) and PTDM (22%, P = 0.005) patients died. By Cox regression, PTDM correlated with reduced patient survival (hazard ratio = 1.80, CI 1.35 to 2.41, P = 0.001), and that relationship was independent of other correlates of reduced survival that included: increasing age; transplant year; reduced serum albumin; and male sex.
Conclusion: s: PTDM is associated with an unfavorable cardiovascular risk profile that precedes the development of hyperglycemia. PTDM is an independent predictor of reduced survival in renal allograft recipients.