Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 2019 Apr 19;14(4):567-575. Epub 2019 Mar 19.
Departments of Internal Medicine.
Background And Objectives: Cognitive impairment is common in patients with kidney disease and can affect physicians' perception and/or patients' ability to complete the pretransplant evaluation. We examined whether cognitive impairment influences the likelihood for transplant listing and whether patients with cognitive impairment take longer to be listed.
Design, Setting, Participants, & Measurements: We conducted a single-center longitudinal cohort study. Patients presenting for their index kidney transplant evaluation were screened for cognitive impairment using the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. A score <26 indicated cognitive impairment. The transplant selection committee was blinded to the scores. Kaplan-Meier analysis assessed time to active listing by level of cognition. A Cox proportional hazards model that included age, sex, race/ethnicity, smoking, coronary artery disease, and diabetes was constructed to evaluate the association between Montreal Cognitive Assessment score and listing for transplant.
Results: In total, 349 patients who underwent Montreal Cognitive Assessment testing at their initial visit were included in the analysis. Patients with cognitive impairment were more likely to be older, black, and smokers. The time to listing in patients with cognitive impairment was longer than the time to listing in those with no cognitive impairment (median time, 10.6 versus 6.3 months; log rank test =0.01). Cognitive impairment was independently associated with a lower likelihood of being listed for transplant (hazard ratio, 0.93 per unit lower Montreal Cognitive Assessment score; 95% confidence interval, 0.88 to 0.99; =0.02). A lower proportion of patients with cognitive impairment were listed compared with patients without cognitive impairment at 1 month (2% versus 11%), 6 months (17% versus 37%), and 1 year (23% versus 41%), (<0.001 for all).
Conclusions: Cognitive impairment is associated with a lower likelihood of being listed for kidney transplant, and is associated with longer time to transplant listing.