Background: Elderly transplant candidates represent an increasingly important group on the waiting list for kidney transplantation. Yet the factors that determine posttransplantation outcomes in this population remain poorly defined.
Methods: We performed a population-based retrospective cohort study involving all patients aged 60 years or older who received a first cadaveric kidney transplantation between 1985 and 2000 in the province of Quebec. The main outcomes were patient survival, overall graft survival, and treatment failure (patient death or graft loss within the first posttransplant year). Survival analyses were performed using a Cox proportional hazard model. Logistic regression identified factors predicting treatment failure.
Results: On multivariate analysis, the modifiable factors associated with patient survival were active smoking at transplantation [hazard ratio (HR) 2.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.22-3.60)], body mass index (BMI) (HR 1.34 for a 5-point increase, 95% CI 1.05-1.67), and time on dialysis before transplantation (HR 1.10 for a 1-year increase, 95% CI 1.02-1.18). The only modifiable factor associated with graft survival was active smoking at transplantation (HR 2.04, 95% CI 1.24-3.30). Treatment failure was associated with time on dialysis before transplantation (odds ratio for dialysis >/=2 years 3.28, 95% CI 1.34-7.9).
Conclusion: Our results show that active smoking, obesity, and time on dialysis before transplantation are modifiable risk factors associated with an increased risk of mortality after transplantation in elderly recipients. They represent potential targets for interventions aimed at improving patient and graft survival in elderly patients.