The impact of kidney transplantation on heart failure risk varies with candidate body mass index

Krista L. Lentine, Huiling Xiao, Daniel C. Brennan, Mark A. Schnitzler, Todd C. Villines, Kevin C. Abbott, David Axelrod, Jon J. Snyder, Paul J. Hauptman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: The relationship of body mass index (BMI) with heart failure (HF) risk before and after kidney transplant is not well described. Methods: We examined United States Renal Data System records for 67,591 kidney transplant candidates (1995-2004) with Medicare insurance and BMI data at listing. Heart failure diagnoses were ascertained from Medicare billing claims. Body mass index was categorized per World Health Organization criteria. We modeled time-dependent associations (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR) of transplant with HF risk after listing compared with waiting in each BMI group by multivariable, stratified Cox regression. The time-dependent exposure variables partitioned relative risk of HF after transplant versus waiting into early (≤90 days) and late (>90 days) posttransplant periods. Results: The BMI distribution of listed candidates was as follows: 3.7% under, 40.4% normal, 32.0% over, 16.2% obese, and 7.7% morbidly obese weight. The prevalence of HF among patients awaiting transplant reached 57.4% by 3 years. Deceased-donor transplant was associated with increased early HF risk compared with continued waiting-aHRs ranged from 2.23 for normal-BMI to 2.82 for morbidly obese patients. However, transplant reduced the risk of HF in the late posttransplant period from 54% (aHR 0.46) in normal-BMI to 32% (aHR 0.68) for morbidly obese patients. Relative benefits were largest for normal-weight candidates who received live-donor transplants (aHR 0.31). Conclusions: Heart failure risk improves in obese patients in the long term after kidney transplant, but not as much as for nonobese patients. There is need for close monitoring and for new strategies to reduce HF risk in obese patients before and after transplant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)972-982
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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