Health-related quality of life and clinical outcomes in kidney transplant recipients

Marta Molnar-Varga, Miklos Z. Molnar, Lilla Szeifert, Agnes Z. Kovacs, Andrea Kelemen, Adam Becze, Gergely Laszlo, Andras Szentkiralyi, Maria E. Czira, Istvan Mucsi, Marta Novak

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an important outcome measure in patients with chronic kidney disease. It also has been shown repeatedly to predict mortality in various patient populations. In a prospective cohort study, we assessed the association between HRQoL and long-term clinical outcome in kidney transplant recipients. Study Design: Prospective prevalent cohort study. Setting & Participants: We collected sociodemographic parameters, medical and transplant history, and laboratory data at baseline from 879 prevalent kidney transplant recipients (mean age, 49 ± 13 [standard deviation] years; 58% men; and 17% with diabetes mellitus). Predictor: We assessed HRQoL using the KDQoL-SF (Kidney Disease Quality of Life Short Form) questionnaire and assessed depressive symptoms using the Center for Epidemiologic StudiesDepression Scale. Outcomes: All-cause mortality and death-censored transplant loss or death with functioning transplant. Cox regression models and semiparametric competing-risks regression analyses were used to measure associations between HRQoL scores and outcomes. Results: Most examined HRQoL domains were associated with clinical outcome in unadjusted models. After adjusting for several important confounders, the 36-Item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36) Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception subscale scores remained independently associated with clinical outcomes. Every 10-point increase in SF-36 Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception scores was associated with 18% (HR, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.71-0.95), 11% (HR, 0.89; 95% CI, 0.84-0.94), and 7% lower risks of mortality (HR, 0.93; 95% CI, 0.88-1.00), respectively. Limitations: Single-center study. Conclusions: We showed that the SF-36 Physical Composite Score and Physical Functioning and General Health Perception KDQoL-SF domain scores are associated independently with increased risk of mortality in kidney transplant patients. Regular assessment of HRQoL may be a useful tool to inform health care providers about the prognosis of kidney transplant recipients. Additional studies are needed to assess whether interventions aimed at improving HRQoL would improve clinical outcomes in this patient population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-452
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Kidney Diseases
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Health-related quality of life
  • graft loss
  • kidney transplant
  • mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology

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