Use of deceased diabetic donor kidneys has increased over recent decades. However, scarce patient and allograft survival data are available taking into account recipient diabetes status. Here we performed a retrospective cohort study using data from the United Network of Organ Sharing in patients transplanted from 1994 to 2014. Multivariable Cox regression assessed recipient outcomes of 9074 diabetic vs. 152,555 non-diabetic donor kidneys. Recipients of diabetic donor kidneys had elevated rates of all-cause allograft failure (hazard ratio 1.21, 95% confidence interval 1.16-1.26) and death (1.19, 1.13-1.24) compared to recipients of kidneys from non-diabetic donors. Younger recipients of diabetic donor kidneys had worse allograft survival than older recipients of non-diabetic donor kidneys. There was significant interaction between donor and recipient diabetes status. To minimize the effect of unmeasured confounders, we used paired analyses of recipients of mate-kidneys from the same donor, with one diabetic recipient and the other non-diabetic. Among discordant recipient pairs of diabetic donor kidneys, diabetic recipients had significantly higher risk of allograft failure (1.27, 1.05-1.53) and death (1.53, 1.22-1.93) than non-diabetic recipients. After stratifying by Kidney Donor Profile Index risk category, diabetic recipients of diabetic donor kidneys continued to have worse allograft survival compared to all other patients. Thus, risks are associated with the use of diabetic donor kidneys. Understanding these risks will enable clinicians to better educate potential recipients.Kidney International advance online publication, 21 October 2015; doi:10.1038/ki.2015.325.