The incidence of new-onset diabetes after transplantation (NODAT) and premature mortality is high in renal transplant recipients (RTR). We hypothesized that a Mediterranean Style diet protects against NODAT and premature mortality in RTR.
Research design and methods
A prospective cohort study of adult RTR with a functioning graft for >1 year. Dietary intake was assessed with a 177-item validated food frequency questionnaire. Patients were divided based on a 9-point Mediterranean Style Diet Score (MDS): low MDS (0–4 points) versus high MDS (5–9 points). A total of 468 RTR were eligible for analyses. Logistic multivariable regression analyses were used to study the association of MDS with NODAT and Cox multivariable regression models for the association with all-cause mortality.
Mean±SD age was 51.3±13.2 years and 56.6% were men. About 50% of the patients had a high MDS. During median follow-up of 4.0 (IQR, 0.4–5.4) years, 22 (5%) RTR developed NODAT and 50 (11%) died. High MDS was significantly associated with both a lower risk of NODAT (HR=0.23; 95% CI 0.09 to 0.64; p=0.004) and all-cause mortality (HR=0.51; 95% CI 0.29 to 0.89, p=0.02) compared to low MDS, independent of age and sex. Adjustment for other potential confounders, including total energy intake, physical activity and smoking status, did not materially change the results of the analyses.
Dietary habits leading to high MDS were associated with lower risk of NODAT. These results suggest that healthy dietary habits are of paramount importance for RTR.This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt and build upon this work, for commercial use, provided the original work is properly cited