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Increased cold ischemia time (CIT) predisposes to delayed graft function (DGF). DGF is considered a risk factor for graft failure after kidney transplantation, but DGF has multiple etiologies. To analyze the risk of CIT–induced DGF on graft survival, we evaluated paired deceased–donor kidneys (derived from the same donor transplanted to different recipients) in which one donor resulted in DGF and the other did not, using national Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients data between 2000 and 2009. Of 54 565 kidney donors, 15 833 were excluded for mate kidney nontransplantation, 27 340 because both or neither kidney developed DGF and 2310 for same/unknown CIT. The remaining 9082 donors (18 164 recipients) were analyzed. The adjusted odds (aOR) of DGF were significantly higher when CIT was longer by ≥1 h (aOR 1.81, 95% CI 1.7–2.0), ≥5 h (aOR 2.5, 95% CI 2.3–2.9), ≥10 h (aOR 3.3, 95% CI 2.7–2.9) and ≥15 h (aOR 4.4, 95% CI 3.4–5.8) compared to shorter CIT transplants. In the multivariable models adjusted for recipient characteristics, graft survival between paired donor transplants, with and without DGF, were similar. These results suggest that DGF, specifically induced by prolonged CIT, has limited bearing on long–term outcomes, which may have important implications for kidney utilization.