JOURNAL ARTICLE

Distance from treatment facility and risk of death from cardiovascular and infectious causes in renal transplant patients

A R Soliman, A Fathy, M Elkhatib, M A Soliman, N Shaheen
Indian Journal of Nephrology 2013, 23 (2): 98-102
23716914
We investigated whether patients receiving RTx who live farther from their attending nephrologist are more likely to die than those who live closer. A random sample of 167 patients who undergone RTx between 1996 and 2004 was examined. We calculated the distance between each patient's residence and the practice location of their attending nephrologist. We used Cox proportional hazards models to examine the adjusted relation between distance and clinical outcomes (death from all causes, rejection episodes, infectious causes, and cardiovascular complications) over a follow-up period of upto 6 years. During the follow-up period (median: 3.3, range: 1.0-6.5 years), 22% of patients died. Compared with patients who lived within 50 km of their nephrologist, the adjusted hazard ratio of death was 1.04 among those who lived 50.1-150 km away, 1.16 for those who lived 150.1-300 km away, and 1.19 for those who lived more than 300 km (P for trend <0.001). The risk of death from infectious causes increased with greater distance from the attending nephrologist (P for trend <0.001). The risk of developing acute rejection episodes did not increase with distance from the attending nephrologist (P for trend = 0.2). The risk of death from cardiovascular causes increased with distance from the attending nephrologist (P for trend <0.05). Compared with patients who lived within 50 km of their nephrologist, the adjusted hazard ratio of death among those who lived >300 km away was 1.75 for infectious causes and 1.39 for cardiovascular causes. We conclude that mortality and morbidity associated with RTx was greater among patients who lived farther from their attending nephrologist, as compared with those who lived closer.

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