Analyses of renal outcome following transplantation adjusting for informative right censoring and demographic factors: A longitudinal study
Demographic factors such as race, vital status, gender, and age could affect the final renal outcome of patients who undergo renal transplantation. These demographic factors could be assessed at the recipient and donor levels. Repeated measures for blood urea nitrogen (BUN) are typically recorded for each patient following renal transplantation, as a biomarker to assess renal progress. However, once a patient develops renal failure due to graft rejection, no measurement of BUN can be registered and the patient goes back to dialysis. This causes loss of follow-up and incomplete data on BUN measurements, a problem referred to as informative right censoring. If this problem is ignored, inaccurate, and biased estimates will be generated. In this study, unbiased estimates for the rate of change of BUN levels over time adjusted for informative right censoring and demographic factors were acquired using a sophisticated model of analysis. Our results demonstrated that BUN levels for Caucasians were decreasing at a greater rate than African Americans (p < 0.0001). When donors are deceased, African American recipients showed an increase instead of a decrease in their BUN levels following transplantation. Moreover, African Americans showed a decrease in their BUN levels when the donors were African Americans compared with when donors were Caucasians (p = 0.03). Our results also showed that BUN levels were decreasing at a greater rate when donors and recipients were of different gender than when they were of the same gender (p = 0.009). These results suggest that the success of renal transplantation is impacted by the donor/recipient demographic factors.