Purpose: We sought to determine the association between health-related quality of life (HRQOL) and graft function in renal transplant recipients.
Design and methods: We enrolled 577 kidney transplant recipients aged 18-74 years (response rate 87%). Recipients with multiple or multi-organ transplantation, creatine kinase >200 U/L, acute renal failure or cellular rejection (n = 64), and without creatinine assessments in 3 months pre-enrollment (n = 127) were excluded. The questionnaire included Euro QOL 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D), Health Utility Index III (HUI-III), Kidney Disease Quality of Life-36 (KDQOL36) which include a generic section (RAND SF-12). Data on medical conditions, therapy regimens, and biochemistry results were extracted from clinical charts. We used general linear models adjusted for demographic, socioeconomic, and clinical characteristics to assess the association between HRQOL and severity of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Results: Patients with more advanced CKD were more likely to be African-American, covered by public insurance, more likely to have shorter time after transplantation, higher phosphorus and lower hemoglobin, serum albumin, and calcium levels. All HRQOL scales were inversely associated with CKD severity. All associations were robust to adjustment for possible confounders.
Conclusions: Several health-related quality of life dimensions may be affected by poor renal function after transplantation.