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Diabetics Fare Well After Kidney Transplants, Study Finds

FRIDAY, May 9, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Survival rates for people with diabetes who have a kidney transplant are similar to those of people without diabetes, a new study finds.

Researchers looked at nearly 1,700 people who received new kidneys between 1996 and 2007, including about 400 with diabetes. Before 2004, kidney transplant patients with diabetes were more than twice as likely to die within five years as those without diabetes.

But after 2004, the five-year survival rate for people with diabetes was similar to that of people without diabetes, according to the study published online recently in the journal Kidney International.

The findings show that there have been major improvements in the management of kidney transplant patients with diabetes, the Mayo Clinic researchers said. Specifically, the improvements in patient care led to significant declines in heart problems and infections.

"We were really encouraged to see this gap improve so dramatically," study leader Dr. Fernando Cosio, medical director of kidney and pancreas transplantation, said in a Mayo news release.

"Diabetic patients who undergo kidney transplantation can expect outcomes equally as successful as nondiabetics, provided that they are diligent in their management of blood pressure, glucose, healthy weight, and other factors that influence their kidney function and overall well-being," he added.

More information

The National Kidney Foundation has more about kidney transplantation.

SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, news release, May 6, 2014