Long-term quality of life after kidney transplantation in childhood

P. Morel, P. S. Almond, A. J. Matas, K. J. Gillingham, C. Chau, A. Brown, C. E. Kashtan, S. M. Mauer, B. Chavers, T. E. Nevins, D. L. Dunn, D. E R Sutherland, W. D. Payne, J. S. Najarian

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88 Scopus citations


Transplantation is the treatment of choice for children with end-stage renal disease. However, the long-term quality of life and socioprofessional outcome for those with successful transplants have not previously been reported. We studied these factors in patients transplanted when <18 years old who currently have ≥10 years of graft function. A total of 57 questionnaires were sent out; 57 (100%) responded [24 female and 33 male patients; average (±SD) age at tx = 10±5 years (0.9-17.7); average f/u =15.6±3 years (10-26); current age = 26±5 years (12-38); 26 had >1 transplant]. Of the 57 respondents, 9 are <18 (all are in school); 48 are ≥18 (7 in school, 37 employed, 4 unemployed); 12 are married, 1 engaged, and 2 divorced; and 9 have children. While in school, 43 (75%) had participated in sports, 37 (65%) in other extracurricular activities; 7 (12%) were A and 33 (58%) B students; 15 (26%) received awards or scholarships. For those working, the range of occupations is broad (average work week = 41±5 hr). Health-related absence from work has been nonexistent for 93%. Health is rated as good to excellent by 91%and fair by 9%. The future is regarded as hopeful or promising by 80%. Similarly, 89% are satisfied with life in general; 95% said health never or seldom interferes with family life; 95% feel health and drug side effects are of no or minor concern in sexual relationships. Only 3% feel health is a problem in maintaining a sexual relationship (41% are not sexually active). Only 4% stated that health often interferes with social life; 98% meet with friends on a regular basis; 76% are satisfied with personal relationships and 8% dissatisfied; 91% are satisfied with their ability to perform at work or school and 5% dissatisfied. Of note, 32% are dissatisfied with body appearance. Major concerns are short stature and brittle bones. Major suggestions include education/support groups to deal with teasing at school and peer problems. We conclude that transplanted children with long-term graft function have a favorable social and professional outcome. Overall, quality of life seems excellent.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1991


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