Renal transplantation outcomes: a comparative analysis between elderly and younger recipients

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Renal transplantation is presently the best treatment for end-stage renal disease, although considered contraindicated for elderly patients. However, more investigation is needed due to higher life expectancy rates of the general population and the increasing number of over 60-yr-old patients with chronic renal failure dependant upon dialysis. This study aims to determine graft and patient survival rates of renal transplant patients 60 yr and older compared to a younger group (50–59 yr old). Relevant pre- and post-transplant clinical data related to graft and patient survival in both groups were also investigated. Three-hundred and twenty consecutive renal transplant patients were enrolled in this study and grouped based on age at the time of the transplantation: one-hundred and ten patients at or over 60 yr old (elderly group) and 210 patients ranging from 50 to 59 yr old (younger group). There were no statistical differences in either group regarding clinical characteristics and immunological risk factors. The incidence of acute rejection was higher in the younger group (37.6%) than in the elderly (22.7%) (p = 0.01). Censored to death graft survivals at five yr were respectively 86.7% for patients ≥ 60 yr and 82.1% for patients 50–59 yr old (p = 0.49). Patient survival rates at five yr were respectively 76.2% for patients ≥ 60 yr and 81.6% for patients 50–59 yr old (p = 0.33). Our data show that renal transplantation for elderly patients has similar results to those found in younger individuals, which does not make age, in and of itself, a contraindication for transplantation.

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