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Transplantation. 2011 Feb 15;91(3):334-41. doi: 10.1097/TP.0b013e318203c25f.

New-onset diabetes mellitus in kidney transplant recipients discharged on steroid-free immunosuppression.

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Division of Nephrology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-0364, USA.



New-onset diabetes after transplant (NODAT) is a serious complication after kidney transplantation. We studied the relationship between steroid-free maintenance regimens and NODAT in a national cohort of adult kidney transplant patients.


A total of 25,837 previously nondiabetic kidney transplant patients, engrafted between January 1, 2004, and December 31, 2006, were included in the study. Logistic regression analysis was used to compare the risk of developing NODAT within 3 years after transplant for patients discharged with and without steroid-containing maintenance immunosuppression regimens. The effect of transplant program-level practice regarding steroid-free regimens on the risk of NODAT was studied as well.


The cumulative incidence of NODAT within 3 years of transplant was 16.2% overall; 17.7% with maintenance steroids and 12.3% without (P<0.001). Patients discharged with steroids had 42% greater odds of developing NODAT compared with those without steroids (adjusted odds ratio [AOR]=1.42, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.27-1.58, P<0.001). The maintenance regimen of tacrolimus and mycophenolate mofetil or mycophenolate sodium was associated with 25% greater odds of developing NODAT (AOR=1.25, 95% CI=1.08-1.45, P=0.003) than the regimen of cyclosporine and mycophenolate mofetil or mycophenolate sodium. Several induction therapies also were associated with lower odds of NODAT compared with no induction. Patients from programs that used steroid-free regimens for a majority of their patients had reduced odds of NODAT compared with patients from programs discharging almost all of their patients on steroid-containing regimens.


The adoption of steroid-free maintenance immunosuppression at discharge from kidney transplantation in selected patients was associated with reduced odds of developing NODAT within 3 years.

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