Characterizing dietary intake and physical activity affecting weight gain in kidney transplant recipients

Prog Transplant. 2012 Mar;22(1):62-70. doi: 10.7182/pit2012888.


Context: Weight gain after kidney transplantation affects 50% to 90% of kidney transplant recipients. Factors leading to weight gain in recipients are thought to include a change in lifestyle (eg, dietary intake and physical activity), age, race, sex, and immunosuppressant medications.

Objective: To examine dietary intake and physical activity of kidney transplant recipients at baseline and 3 and 6 months after transplantation to identify contributing factors to weight gain.

Design: Descriptive, correlational study using secondary data from a larger parent study examining genetic and environmental contributors to weight gain after kidney transplantation.

Participants and setting: Forty-four kidney transplant recipients at a mid-South university hospital-based transplant institute who had dietary intake, physical activity, and clinical data at baseline and 3 and 6 months were included.

Main outcome measures: Dietary intake, physical activity, weight, and body mass index.

Results: Mean weight gain increased by 6% from baseline to 6 months. Interestingly, dietary intake did not change significantly from baseline to 6 months. Hours of sleep per day decreased during the same period (P = .02). Dietary intake, physical activity, age, race, sex, and immunosuppression showed no significant relationship to weight gain at 6 months.

Conclusion: Little consideration has been given to dietary intake and physical activity of kidney transplant recipients and the effects of these variables on weight gain. Further studies with a larger sample are needed, as weight gain after transplantation is a significant risk factor for diminished long-term outcomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diet*
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Diseases / complications
  • Kidney Diseases / psychology
  • Kidney Diseases / surgery*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Weight Gain*
  • Young Adult