Background: The majority of kidney transplant (KT) candidates spend some time on the transplant wait-list (WL) prior to kidney transplantation. We examined the impact of WL inactivity on clinical outcomes.
Methods: All adult KT candidates first actively wait-listed between January 1, 1996, and December 31, 2005, in the United States were grouped by frequency of inactivity on the WL. Transplantation rate, pre- and post-transplant patient survival and death-censored kidney graft survival were compared.
Results: Of 159,774 candidates who were placed on the WL, 48,598 (30.4%) experienced one or more periods of inactivity. Candidates with inactivity once or more on the WL had 42% and 27% less likelihood of KT, respectively (HR 0.58, 95% CI 0.57, 0.59 and HR 0.73, 95% CI 0.71, 0.75). WL inactivity once or more was associated with a higher likelihood of death (HR 1.94, 95% CI 1.88, 2.00 and HR 2.13, 95% CI 2.02, 2.24). Among KT recipients, inactivity more than once on the WL was associated with a higher risk of death (HR 1.14, 95% CI 1.05, 1.23).
Conclusions: Periods of inactivity on the WL predict increased mortality pre- and post-transplantation. A better understanding of the reasons for WL inactivity is essential to improve WL management and post-transplant outcomes.
Keywords: inactivity; kidney; survival; transplant; wait-list.
© 2013 John Wiley & Sons A/S.