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Iran J Kidney Dis. 2011 Jul;5(3):141-8.

Impact of cigarette smoking on kidney transplant recipients: a systematic review.

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Nephrology and Urology Research Center, Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.



Cigarette smoking has adverse effects on kidney transplant recipients, causing cardiovascular disease, kidney function impairment, and cancer. However, there are surprisingly few studies on the impact of cigarette smoking among kidney transplant recipients and its consequences after transplantation. We performed a systematic review of the literature to identify the effects of cigarette smoking on patient and graft survival rates among kidney transplant recipients.


We searched the PubMed from 1968 to 2009 to identify studies on the effect of cigarette smoking on kidney transplant recipients, using the following keywords: kidney transplantation, cigarette, smoking, tobacco, and nicotine. The electronic and manual searches yielded 357 articles, of which 39 were considered potentially relevant by titles and abstracts and were selected for full text review. Twenty-seven irrelevant reports were excluded.


A total of 12 papers were selected for review, comprising of 1801 kidney transplant recipients with a history of smoking. The impact of cigarette smoking on kidney recipient survival was only evaluated by 6 studies and the relative risk of smoking for death was available in 3 reports, varying between 0.8 and 2.2. Cigarette smoking was an independent risk factor for patient death. In addition, on univariable and multivariable analyses, graft survival correlated with a history of cigarette smoking and the relative risk for graft failure ranged from 1.06 to 2.3.


Cigarette smoking was associated with an increased risk of death and graft loss. Therefore, every attempt should be made to encourage kidney transplant candidates to stop smoking.

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