De novo congestive heart failure after kidney transplantation: a common condition with poor prognostic implications

Am J Kidney Dis. 2005 Oct;46(4):720-33. doi: 10.1053/j.ajkd.2005.06.019.


Background: We aim to describe the risk, predictors, and outcomes associated with de novo congestive heart failure (CHF) after kidney transplantation.

Methods: We used registry data from the US Renal Data System to retrospectively investigate de novo CHF in adult Medicare-insured transplant recipients and wait-listed candidates in 1995 to 2001. Heart failure was ascertained from inpatient and outpatient billing records, and participants were followed up until loss of Medicare or December 31, 2001. We used extended Cox hazards analysis to identify independent correlates of posttransplantation de novo CHF (adjusted hazard ratio [AHR], 95% confidence interval [CI]) and examine de novo CHF as a predictor of death and graft loss after transplantation.

Results: In 27,011 transplant recipients, cumulative incidences of de novo CHF were 10.2% (95% CI, 9.8 to 10.6) and 18.3% (95% CI, 17.8 to 18.9) at 12 and 36 months and decreased to less than the demographic-adjusted incidence on the waiting list beyond the early posttransplantation period. Risk factors for de novo CHF included older recipient age, female sex, unemployed status at transplantation, pretransplantation comorbidities (anemia, diabetes mellitus, myocardial infarction, angina, cardiac arrhythmia, and peripheral vascular disease), transplant from older donors, donor cardiovascular death, and delayed graft function. We identified pretransplantation obesity, smoking, and posttransplantation complications, including hypertension, anemia, new-onset diabetes, myocardial infarction, and graft failure, as potentially modifiable correlates of de novo CHF. In separate analyses, de novo CHF predicted death (AHR, 2.6; 95% CI, 2.4 to 2.9) and death-censored graft failure (AHR, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.4 to 3.0).

Conclusion: Although associations may not reflect causality, identification of potentially mutable de novo CHF risk factors suggests targets for improving outcomes that should be evaluated prospectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anemia / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / drug therapy
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / prevention & control
  • Heart Failure / epidemiology*
  • Heart Failure / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / epidemiology
  • Hypertension / epidemiology
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Incidence
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Medicare / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardial Infarction / epidemiology
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology
  • Prognosis
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors


  • Immunosuppressive Agents