(HealthDay News) — Kidney transplant graft failure is associated with additional medical costs of $78,079 for the average patient and a loss of 1.66 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), according to a study published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

Jesse Sussell, PhD, from Precision Health Economics in Los Angeles, and colleagues quantified the population-wide economic burden of graft failure by comparing outcomes from a simulation model of kidney transplant patients in which patients are at risk for graft failure with a simulation in which the risk for graft failure is assumed to be zero. Lifetime costs, overall survival, and QALYs were estimated for both scenarios, and the difference between them was calculated.

The researchers found that graft failure will impose additional medical costs of $78,079 for the average patient and a loss of 1.66 QALYs. Given 17,644 kidney transplants in 2017, graft failure was associated with total incremental lifetime medical costs of $1.38 billion and a total QALY loss of 29,289.

“While short-term outcomes for kidney transplant recipients have improved, long-term outcomes have not: 10-year graft failure rates remain higher than 50%,” a coauthor said in a statement. “This calls for long-term investment in novel technologies to improve graft survival, given that graft failure is associated with substantial costs and impacts on quality and length of life.”

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Several authors disclosed financial ties to Precision Health Economics and Medeor Therapeutics.


Sussell J, Silverstein AR, Goutam P, et al. The economic burden of kidney graft failure in the United States. Am J Transplant. doi: 10.1111/ajt.15750

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