Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who have had a kidney transplant have nearly half the risk of stroke compared with patients on hemodialysis, Australian researchers reported at the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association 42nd Congress in London.

Philip Masson, MBChB, of the University of Sydney, and colleagues examined stroke risk factors in a retrospective cohort study of 10,745 ESRD patients. The cohort experienced 640 stroke events during 47,472 person-years of follow-up.

Compared with dialysis patients, kidney transplant recipients had a 46% lower risk of stroke. Patients who had a previous stroke had a 2.5 times higher risk of stroke than those who never had a stroke. Stroke risk increased with age: It was 6 times higher in patients aged 50 – 70 years than those aged younger than 30 years. Smoking increased the risk of stroke by 55% compared with never having smoked. Women were 39% more likely than men to suffer a stroke.

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Results showed that risk factors for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke were similar.