Frailty is associated with inferior survival and increased resource requirements among kidney transplant candidates, but assessments are time-intensive and costly and require direct patient interaction. Waitlist hospitalization may be a proxy for patient fitness and could help those at risk of poor outcomes. We examined United States Renal Data System data from 51 111 adult end-stage renal disease patients with continuous Medicare coverage who were waitlisted for transplant from January 2000 to December 2011. Heavily admitted patients had higher subsequent resource requirements, increased waitlist mortality and decreased likelihood of transplant (death after listing: 1–7 days: hazard ratio [HR] 1.24, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.20–1.28; 8–14 days: HR 1.49, 95% CI 1.42–1.56; ≥15 days: HR 2.07, 95% CI 1.99–2.15; vs. 0 days). Graft and recipient survival was inferior, with higher admissions, although survival benefit was preserved. A model including waitlist admissions alone performed better (C statistic 0.76, 95% CI 0.74–0.80) in predicting postlisting mortality than estimated posttransplant survival (C statistic 0.69, 95% CI 0.67–0.73). Although those with a heavy burden of admissions may still benefit from kidney transplant, less utility is derived from allografts placed in this population. Current kidney allocation policy, which is based in part on longevity matching, could be significantly improved by consideration of hospitalization records of transplant candidates.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Dr. Adams and Dr. Patzer are supported in part by a grant from Bristol-Myers Squibb.
© 2016 The American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Copyright 2017 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- clinical decision-making
- dialysis: complications
- health services and outcomes research
- kidney transplantation/nephrology
- patient characteristics