Comorbidities and kidney transplant evaluation in the elderly

Am J Nephrol. 2013;38(3):204-11. doi: 10.1159/000354483. Epub 2013 Aug 27.


Background/aims: The elderly are the fastest growing subpopulation with end-stage renal disease. The goal of our study was to define characteristics of elderly patients who were considered ineligible for transplantation compared to those who were listed.

Methods: 984 patients were referred for evaluation during a 2-year period. Records of patients ≥65 years of age (n = 123) were reviewed. Patients who were listed versus not listed were characterized. Factors associated with waitlisting were determined using standard statistical tools.

Results: Half of elderly transplant candidates were accepted for listing compared to 75.4% of those aged <65 years. In multivariable logistic regression, older age (OR 1.29 per year ≥65, 95% CI 1.14-1.45), coronary artery disease (OR 8.57, 95% CI 2.41-30.53), and poor mobility (OR 13.97, 95% CI 4.76-41.00) were independently associated with denial of listing. The receiver operating characteristic curve showed good discrimination for denial of listing (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of 0.88).

Conclusion: Elderly candidates carry a heavy burden of comorbidities and over half of those evaluated are deemed unsuitable for waitlisting. Better delineation of characteristics associated with suitability for transplant candidacy in the elderly is warranted to facilitate appropriate referrals by physicians and management of expectations in potential candidates.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Coronary Artery Disease / complications
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications*
  • Kidney Transplantation / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mobility Limitation
  • Models, Statistical
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Selection*
  • ROC Curve
  • Waiting Lists
  • Young Adult