2 Citations (Scopus)
30 Downloads (Pure)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Many kidney transplant recipients suffer from fatigue and poor health-related quality of life. Airflow limitation may be an underappreciated comorbidity among kidney transplant recipients, which could contribute to fatigue and lower health-related quality of life in this population. In this study, we compared the prevalence of airflow limitation between kidney transplant recipients and healthy controls and investigated associations of airflow limitation with fatigue and health-related quality of life in kidney transplant recipients.

DESIGN, SETTING, PARTICIPANTS, & MEASUREMENTS: Data from the ongoing TransplantLines Biobank and Cohort study were used. Airflow limitation was defined as forced exhaled volume in 1 second less than the fifth percentile of the general population. Fatigue and health-related quality of life were assessed using checklist individual strength 20 revised (CIS20-R) and Short Form-36 (SF-36) questionnaires.

RESULTS: A total of 539 kidney transplant recipients (58% men; mean age 56±13 years) and 244 healthy controls (45% men; mean age 57±10 years) were included. Prevalence of airflow limitation was higher in kidney transplant recipients than in healthy controls (133 [25%] versus 25 [10%]). In multinomial regression models, airflow limitation was independently associated with fatigue severity (odds ratio moderate fatigue, 1.68; 95% confidence interval, 0.92 to 3.09 and odds ratio severe fatigue, 2.51; 95% confidence interval, 1.39 to 4.55; P=0.007) and lower physical health-related quality of life (-0.11 SDs; 95% confidence interval, -0.19 to -0.02; P=0.01) in kidney transplant recipients. In exploratory mediation analyses, fatigue accounted for 79% of the association of airflow limitation with physical health-related quality of life.

CONCLUSIONS: Airflow limitation is common among kidney transplant recipients. Its occurrence is associated with more than two times higher risk of severe fatigue, and it is associated with lower physical health-related quality of life. Mediation analyses suggest that airflow limitation causes fatigue, which in turn, decreases physical health-related quality of life.

CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY NAME AND REGISTRATION NUMBER: TransplantLines: The Transplantation Biobank, NCT03272841 PODCAST: This article contains a podcast at https://www.asn-online.org/media/podcast/CJASN/2021_11_08_CJN06600521.mp3.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1686-1694
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2021

Cite this