NYMC Faculty Publications

Obesity in Kidney Transplantation: Impact on Transplant Candidates, Recipients, and Donors

Journal Title

Cardiology in Review

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Publication Date

March 2019




Obesity is now common among children and adults who are kidney transplant candidates and recipients. It is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and kidney failure. This also pertains to potential living kidney donors with obesity. Obese patients with end-stage renal disease benefit from transplantation as do nonobese patients, but obesity is also associated with more risk. A complicating factor is that obesity is also associated with increased survival on maintenance dialysis in adults, but not in children. The assessment of obesity and body habitus should be individualized. Body mass index is a common but imperfect indicator of obesity. The medical management of obesity in renal failure patients is often unsuccessful. Bariatric surgery, specifically laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, can result in significant weight loss with reduced morbidity, but many patients do not agree to undergo this treatment. The best approach to manage obese transplant candidates and recipients is yet unresolved.