The aim of this study was to analyze the impact of clinic nonattendance within the first year after kidney transplantation on graft-related outcomes.Methods
Our retrospective analysis included all patients receiving their transplant (2007-2017) and receiving their long-term follow up at our center. Clinic nonattendance was extracted from electronic patient records and informatics systems, with highest clinic nonattenders stratified at the 75th percentile.Results
Data were analyzed for 916 kidney allograft recipients, with median follow up 1168 days (interquartile range, 455-2073 days). Median number of missed transplant clinic visits in the first year was 5 (interquartile range, 3-7) and nonattenders were defined above the 75th percentile. Nonattenders versus attenders were more likely to be black, ABO-incompatible, repeat kidney transplant recipients but less likely to have pretransplantation diabetes. Nonattenders versus attenders had longer hospital stays after their transplant surgery in days (14.4 vs 12.2 respectively, P = 0.007), higher rate of delayed graft function (21.3% vs 12.8% respectively, P = 0.005), higher risk for 1-year rejection (12.5% vs 7.8% respectively, P = 0.044), worse 1-year estimated glomerular filtration rate in mL/min (47.0 vs 54.1, respectively, P = 0.002) and increased risk for death-censored graft loss by median follow (17.5% vs 12.0%, respectively, P = 0.013). In a Cox regression model, kidney transplant recipients defined as clinic nonattenders within the first postoperative year demonstrated a significantly increased rate of death-censored graft loss (hazard ratio, 1.983; 95% confidence interval, 1.061-3.707; P = 0.032).Conclusions
Kidney transplant recipients in the top quartile for nonattendance require additional support and supervision to help attenuate long-term risks to their graft function and survival.