Work ability and labor supply after kidney transplantation

Valentina Sangalli, Jonathan Dukes, Syamsundara Babu Doppalapudi, Giovanni Costa, Luca Neri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The vocational rehabilitation after kidney transplantation (KTX) is suboptimal. We sought to evaluate correlates of occupational outcomes after KTX. Methods: We included 336 working-age patients with at least one creatinine assessment in the 3-month screening period. We collected clinical information from medical records. All subjects answered a self-administered questionnaire, and a follow-up questionnaire was mailed to each participant after 6 months. Study outcomes were the Work Ability Index (WAI) and labor supply (the number of days each patient worked in the follow-up period). We estimated the glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) with the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease Study equation. Results: The mean eGFR was 52.76 ± 23.68 ml/min/1.73 m2. The age-standardized employment-to-population ratio was 62%. Comorbidities, self-reported work ability, gender, age, health insurance type, and time since transplant were associated with employment status at baseline. The WAI (38.79 ± 5.88) was associated with the severity of renal impairment, work attachment and comorbidities. After 6 months, labor supply (mean 19.4 ± 9.7 weeks) was associated with WAI item 1 (ρ = 0.22; p = 0.03); eGFR was significantly associated with labor supply, and this association was slightly stronger in patients with physically demanding jobs. Conclusions: We identified modifiable factors associated with poor occupational outcomes in kidney transplant recipients. Consistent with labor supply theory, our results suggest that health care coverage plays a key role in employment decisions after KTX independent of possible confounders. Additionally, our study provides the rationale to further evaluate the implications of renal function-preserving strategies for indirect cost savings and self-reported ability to work after transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-361
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Nephrology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 22 2014


  • Glomerular filtration rate
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Quality of life
  • Vocational rehabilitation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Medicine(all)


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