ASN: Moderate Alcohol Intake Benefits Transplant Patients

However, obesity in dialysis patients under 65 years of age increases risk of dying

THURSDAY, Nov. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Moderate alcohol intake among kidney transplant recipients appears to reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes and dying prematurely, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's Renal Week 2010, held from Nov. 16 to 21 in Denver. According to another study presented at the conference, obesity in younger dialysis patients increases the risk of dying within seven years.

Dorien M. Zelle, of the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 600 renal transplant recipients and followed them for several years post-transplant. The investigators found that moderate alcohol intake was associated with a 67 percent lower likelihood of developing diabetes and a 44 percent lower likelihood of dying than were other amounts of alcohol intake or no alcohol intake.

In another study, Ellen K. Hoogeveen, M.D., of Jeroen Bosch Hospital in the Netherlands, and colleagues evaluated 1,749 patients who recently started dialysis and divided them into eight groups based upon age and body mass index. The investigators found that obese patients younger than 65 years of age had a 50 percent increased risk of dying within seven years compared to their normal-weight counterparts. However, obesity was not associated with a higher risk of mortality in patients over 65 years of age.

"The effects of obesity on death in younger dialysis patients have not been well addressed," Hoogeveen said in a statement. "Identification of modifiable risk factors for survival opens the door to targeted prevention and is important to improve life expectancy."

A co-author of the second study disclosed financial relationships with multiple pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Physician's Briefing