Background: The prevalence and consequences of metabolic syndrome after renal transplantation are not well established. Our aims are to analyze in a historic cohort of consecutive renal transplant recipients without diabetes: (1) the prevalence of metabolic syndrome and its evolution to de novo posttransplantation diabetes mellitus (PTDM), and (2) its impact on graft function and graft and patient survival.
Methods: We studied 230 transplant recipients with stable graft function at 1 year (baseline) and at least 18 months of follow-up (assessment date). Metabolic syndrome is defined using the Adult Treatment Panel III criteria with a slight modification.
Results: Metabolic syndrome was present in 22.6% of transplant recipients at baseline, increasing to 37.7% at assessment date. Transplant recipients with metabolic syndrome at baseline more frequently developed PTDM during follow-up than those without metabolic syndrome (P < 0.001). In multiple linear regression analysis, metabolic syndrome was an independent risk factor for decreasing inverse serum creatinine (1/Cr) during follow-up (P = 0.038). In Cox proportional analysis, the hazard ratio for a 30% decrease in 1/Cr over time was 2.6 (95% confidence interval, 1.3 to 5.1; P = 0.005). Graft survival was significantly lower in the metabolic-syndrome group (P = 0.008) and remained significant in multivariate Cox analysis (hazard ratios, 3 to 4.5 in different models). Patient survival also was significantly lower in the metabolic-syndrome group (P = 0.02).
Conclusion: Metabolic syndrome is a prominent risk factor for PTDM, chronic graft dysfunction, graft loss, and patient death in renal transplant recipients. Because metabolic syndrome is a cluster of modifiable factors, prompt intervention may prevent its consequences.