Risk Factors for Fractures in Renal Transplantation: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Hsin Lin Tsai, Tzu Ching Lin, Niang Cheng Lin, Hui Hsin Yang, Jei Wen Chang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Kidney transplant recipients are at an increased risk of fractures, and targeted preventive strategies are needed. Therefore, in this retrospective cohort study, we investigated a large population-based cohort to identify the transplant recipient-specific risk factors for fractures in Taiwanese kidney transplant recipients. Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study using the National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients who underwent renal transplantation between 2003 and 2015 were identified and followed until December 31, 2015, to observe the development of fractures. Variables associated with the development of post-transplant fractures were identified by calculating hazard ratios in a Cox regression model. Results: 5,309 renal transplant recipients were identified, of whom 553 (10.4%) were diagnosed with post-transplant fractures. Independent predictors of post-transplant fractures included an age at transplant ≥65 years (p < 0.001), female sex (p < 0.001), fractures within 3 years prior to transplantation (p < 0.001), and diabetes mellitus (p < 0.001). In addition, daily prednisolone doses >2.9-5.3 mg/day (p < 0.001), >5.3-8.7 mg/day (p < 0.001), and >8.7 mg/day (p < 0.001) were also independent predictors of post-transplant fractures. Conversely, the use of peritoneal dialysis before renal transplantation (p = 0.021), hypertension (p = 0.005), and the use of tacrolimus (p < 0.001), azathioprine (p = 0.006), mycophenolate mofetil/mycophenolic acid (p = 0.002), mTOR inhibitors (p = 0.004), and calcium supplements (p = 0.009) were inversely correlated with post-transplant fractures. Conclusion: We recommend minimizing daily glucocorticoids as early and as far as possible in conjunction with immunosuppressive regimens such as tacrolimus, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil/mycophenolic acid, mTOR inhibitors, and calcium supplements, especially in older female recipients and in recipients with diabetes and a history of prior fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)498-507
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number11-12
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2023


  • Fracture
  • Glucocorticoid
  • Immunosuppressive agent
  • Kidney transplantation


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