Study reveals high burden of COVD-related deaths among kidney transplant recipients and patients with kidney failure
Individuals with kidney failure and those who have received a kidney transplant are especially vulnerable to COVID-19 and are thought to have a higher risk of dying from it than adults in the general population. Although most of this evidence comes from small studies, a recent extensive analysis supports these findings. The analysis appears in an upcoming issue of CJASN.
For the analysis, Sumit Mohan, MD, MPH (Columbia University Irving Medical Center) and his colleagues examined national data on kidney transplant recipients and individuals with kidney failure who are candidates for a kidney transplant.
Among the major findings:
- In 2020, 11% of deaths in patients with kidney failure who were candidates for a kidney transplant were attributed to COVID-19, and these deaths were more likely in individuals who were male, obese, and belonged to racial/ethnic minority groups.
- Nearly 1 in 6 deaths (16%) among transplant recipients in the United States in 2020 was attributed to COVID-19. Recipients who died of COVID-19 were younger, more likely to be obese, had lower educational attainment, and were more likely to belong to racial/ethnic minority groups than those who died of other causes in 2020 or 2019.
- Compared with 2019, there was a 24% higher overall mortality rate in 2020 among patients on the transplant waitlist and a 20% higher rate among kidney transplant recipients.
"This is the first analysis of national level COVID-19–related mortality in transplant recipients and patients waitlisted for a kidney transplant," said Dr. Mohan. "There was a large increase in deaths among these susceptible individuals, with a disproportionate impact on minorities."
Study co-authors include Kristen King, MPH, S Ali Husain, MD, MPH, and Jesse Schold, Ph.D.
The article, titled "COVID-19–Associated Mortality among Kidney Transplant Recipients and Candidates in the United States," will appear in CJASN on September 29, 2021.