International comparison and time trends of first kidney transplant recipient characteristics across Europe: an ERA Registry study

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2023 Aug 31:gfad189. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfad189. Online ahead of print.


Background: The aim of this study was to provide an overview of age, sex and primary renal disease (PRD) distribution among first kidney transplant recipients across Europe.

Method: The European Renal Association (ERA) Registry database was used to obtain data on patients aged 20 years or older receiving their first kidney transplant between 2010 and 2019 from 12 European countries. The numbers and percentages of recipients in each age, sex and PRD group were calculated by country, donor type and year.

Results: In total, 99 543 adults received a first kidney transplant. Overall, 23% of the recipients were 65 years or older, 36% were female and 21% had glomerulonephritis and 15% diabetes mellitus as PRD. Compared with deceased donor kidney transplant recipients, living donor kidney transplant recipients were less often 65 years or older (13% versus 26%), more often had glomerulonephritis (25% versus 20%) and less often diabetes mellitus (8% versus 17%) as PRD. We found large international differences, which were most prominent for age and PRD and less prominent for sex. Over time, the largest change in recipient characteristics was observed for the percentage of recipients aged 65 years or older, increasing from 18% in 2010 to 28% in 2019 for all countries combined with a similar trend in most countries.

Conclusion: We observed large differences for age and PRD distribution between recipients of living and deceased donor kidneys and between European countries. Over time, the percentage of older first kidney transplant recipients increased.

Keywords: age; epidemiology; kidney transplantation; patient characteristics; primary renal disease; sex.