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We propose a continuous kidney donor risk index (KDRI) for deceased donor kidneys, combining donor and transplant variables to quantify graft failure risk.By using national data from 1995 to 2005, we analyzed 69,440 first-time, kidney-only, deceased donor adult transplants. Cox regression was used to model the risk of death or graft loss, based on donor and transplant factors, adjusting for recipient factors. The proposed KDRI includes 14 donor and transplant factors, each found to be independently associated with graft failure or death: donor age, race, history of hypertension, history of diabetes, serum creatinine, cerebrovascular cause of death, height, weight, donation after cardiac death, hepatitis C virus status, human leukocyte antigen-B and DR mismatch, cold ischemia time, and double or en bloc transplant. The KDRI reflects the rate of graft failure relative to that of a healthy 40-year-old donor.Transplants of kidneys in the highest KDRI quintile (>1.45) had an adjusted 5-year graft survival of 63%, compared with 82% and 79% in the two lowest KDRI quintiles (<0.79 and 0.79–<0.96, respectively). There is a considerable overlap in the KDRI distribution by expanded and nonexpanded criteria donor classification.The graded impact of KDRI on graft outcome makes it a useful decision-making tool at the time of the deceased donor kidney offer.