Background: Kidney transplantation in childhood and adolescence implies a set of challenges to long-term social and professional integration. The aim of this study was to characterize the academic activity and the professional situation of pediatric patients undergoing kidney transplantation.
Methods: Through a questionnaire, we obtained information from all patients aged <18 years who underwent kidney transplantation between 1984 and 2009.
Results: During this period, 104 kidney transplantations were performed in 96 patients whose mean age was 13.9 ± 2.8 years. As of March 2010, their mean age was 26.3 ± 5.6 years and 57.1% were male subjects. Eighty-one patients (87.1%) had functioning grafts with 12 (12.9%) undergoing dialysis. The distribution of academic qualifications was not substantially different from the Portuguese average: 1.1% were at the lowest level (vs 4.6%); 17.6%, middle lower level (vs 25.7%), 34.1%, middle level (vs 36.2%); 28.6%, middle higher level (vs 22.8%), and 18.7% had obtained a university degree (vs 10.7%). At the end of follow-up, 13 patients (14.3%) were students, 52 (58.2%) had paid employment, and 14 (15.4%) received a pension. The unemployment rate was 17.5% (vs 9.3% of the general Portuguese population). The proportion of unemployed and retired subjects was higher among patients who had lost their kidney graft (26.1% vs 7.5% and 34.8 vs 9.0%, respectively; P = .001). Twenty-nine patients (32.2%) had independent lodging, 21 (23.1%) were married, and 12 (13.2%) had children. Higher academic qualifications were associated with independent lodging (P = .001). Forty-three percent of patients had a mean height below the 5th percentile (-2 standard deviation). However, mean height did not correlate with academic qualifications, independent lodging, marital life, or procreation.
Conclusion: This group of patients showed encouraging academic, professional and social results. Graft loss may influence employment status.
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