The Relationship Between Frailty and Decreased Physical Performance With Death on the Kidney Transplant Waiting List

Elizabeth C. Lorenz, Fernando G Cosio, Shari L. Bernard, Steven D. Bogard, Brian R. Bjerke, Elizabeth N. Geissler, Steven W. Hanna, Walter K Kremers, Yijing Cheng, Mark D Stegall, Andrea L Cheville, Nathan K LeBrasseur

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4 Scopus citations


Introduction: Frailty and decreased physical performance are associated with poor outcomes after kidney transplant. Less is known about their relationship with pretransplant outcomes. The aim of this study was to characterize associations between frailty and physical performance with death on the kidney transplant waiting list. Design: Since December 2014, high-risk kidney transplant candidates at our center (age > 59, diabetic and/or history of >3 years dialysis) have undergone frailty and physical performance testing using Fried Criteria and the Short Physical Performance Battery. Results: Between December 2014 and November 2016, 272 high-risk candidates underwent testing and were approved for transplant. Both frailty and physical performance score were significantly associated with death on the waiting list (hazard ratio [HR]: 6.7, confidence interval [CI]: 1.5-30.1; P =.01; HR: 0.8 per 1-point increase, CI: 0.7-1.0; P =.02, respectively). The relationship between frailty, physical performance score, and death on the waiting list appeared to be independent of age, diabetes, or duration of dialysis. Discussion: Frailty and decreased physical performance appear to be independently associated with increased mortality on the kidney transplant waiting list. Further studies are needed to determine whether improving frailty and physical performance prior to transplant can decrease waiting list mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalProgress in Transplantation
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019



  • frailty
  • kidney transplant
  • mortality
  • outcome
  • waiting list

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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