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Weakness Predicts Kidney Transplant Mortality

Update Date: Oct 30, 2014 05:03 PM EDT

Feebleness is a strong predictor of early death in kidney patients, according to a new study.

Even after accounting for age, researchers found that frailty is significant risk factor for premature death in kidney transplant patients. Researchers said that the latest findings suggest that patients should be screened for frailty before kidney transplantation. They added that patients identified as weak should be closely monitored after the operation.

The latest findings are important because current models to determine transplant survival is only slightly better than chance, according to researchers. Lead researcher Mara McAdams-DeMarco, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University's School of Public Health and School of Medicine, and her colleagues, explained that it's extremely difficult for doctors to identify kidney patients who'll deteriorate after a transplant.

The latest study involved data from in 537 kidney transplant recipients at the time of transplantation. Study results revealed that 91.5 percent of non-frail recipients, 86 percent of the intermediately frail recipients and 77.5 percent of the frail recipients survived five years after the operation.

"Our results suggest that frail kidney transplant recipients are at twice the risk of mortality even after accounting for important recipient, transplant, and donor characteristics," McAdams-DeMarco said in a news release.

"Our findings are important because frailty represents a unique domain of mortality risk that is not captured by recipient, transplant, or donor factors like recipient age, recipient comorbidity, or donor type, for example," she concluded.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

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