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OeGEpi Best Paper Awards 2022

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Susanne Strohmaier von der Abteilung für Epidemiologie wurde von der Österreichischen Gesellschaft für Epidemiologie (OeGEpi) mit dem renommierten OeGEpi Best Paper Award 2022 ausgezeichnet.

Strohmaier S, Wallisch C, Kammer M, Geroldinger A, Heinze G, Oberbauer R, Haller MC. Survival Benefit of First Single-Organ Deceased Donor Kidney Transplantation Compared With Long-term Dialysis Across Ages in Transplant-Eligible Patients With Kidney Failure. JAMA Netw Open. 2022 Oct 3;5(10):e2234971.

Importance: Kidney transplant is considered beneficial in terms of survival compared with continued dialysis for patients with kidney failure. However, randomized clinical trials are infeasible, and available evidence from cohort studies is at high risk of bias.

Objective: To compare restricted mean survival times (RMSTs) between patients who underwent transplant and patients continuing dialysis across transplant candidate ages and depending on waiting time, applying target trial emulation methods.

Design, setting, and participants: In this retrospective cohort study, patients aged 18 years or older appearing on the wait list for their first single-organ deceased donor kidney transplant between January 1, 2000, and December 31, 2018, in Austria were evaluated. Available data were obtained from the Austrian Dialysis and Transplant Registry and Eurotransplant and included repeated updates on wait-listing status and relevant covariates. Data were analyzed between August 1, 2019, and December 23, 2021.

Exposures: A target trial was emulated in which patients were randomized to either receive the transplant immediately (treatment group) or to continue dialysis and never receive a transplant (control group) at each time an organ became available.

Main outcomes and measures: The primary outcome was time from transplant allocation to death. Effect sizes in terms of RMSTs were obtained using a sequential Cox approach.

Results: Among the 4445 included patients (2974 men [66.9%]; mean [SD] age, 52.2 [13.2] years), transplant was associated with increased survival time across all considered ages compared with continuing dialysis and remaining on the wait list within a 10-year follow-up. The estimated RMST differences were 0.57 years (95% CI, -0.14 to 1.84 years) at age 20 years, 3.01 years (95% CI, 2.50 to 3.54 years) at age 60 years, and 2.48 years (95% CI, 1.88 to 3.04 years) at age 70 years. The survival benefit for patients who underwent transplant across ages was independent of waiting time.

Conclusions and relevance: The findings of this study suggest that kidney transplant prolongs the survival time of persons with kidney failure across all candidate ages and waiting times.