Type 2 diabetes in kidney transplant recipients (KTRs) is associated with an increased risk for overall graft loss, with the increased risk due to death with a functioning graft, according to study findings presented at the 2022 American Transplant Congress (ATC 2022) in Boston, Massachusetts.

Vinayak Rohan, MD, of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, and colleagues conducted a longitudinal study of 233,703 KTRs using 2002-2018 data from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Of these, 53,725 (23%) had type 2 diabetes. These patients were older than those without type 2 diabetes (mean 58.8 vs 48.4 years) and had higher body mass index (BMI; mean 30.2 vs 27.4 kg/m2).

Diabetes status had no significant effect on the risk for death-censored graft loss, but it did influence the risk for death with a functioning graft. Among patients with BMIs of 18.5-30, 30-35, and greater than 35 kg/m2, those with diabetes had a 51%, 53%, and 58% increased risk for death with a functioning graft in adjusted analyses, respectively, compared with those who did not have diabetes, according to the investigators. These increased risks persisted after correcting for age and did not vary significantly by BMI, they noted.

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Type 2 diabetes “substantially increases the risk for overall graft loss, driven by death with a functioning graft,” the authors concluded.


Rohan V, Casey M, Zemin S, Baliga P, Taber D. A large-scale national cohort study assessing the impact of diabetes and obesity on kidney transplant outcomes. Presented at: ATC 2022; June 3-8, 2022. Abstract 785.