Nutritional status of renal transplant patients
CITATION: Du Plessis, A. S. et al. 2002. Nutritional status of renal transplant patients. South African Medical Journal, 92(1):68-74.
The original publication is available at http://www.samj.org.za
Objective. To assess the effect of renal transplantation on the nutritional status of patients. Design. Prospective descriptive study. Setting. Renal Transplant Clinic at Tygerberg Hospital, Western Cape. Subjects. Fifty-eight renal transplant patients from Tygerberg Hospital were enrolled in the study. The sample was divided into two groups of 29 patients each: group 1, less than 28 months post-transplant; and group 2, more than 28 months post-transplant. Outcome measures. Nutritional status assessment comprised biochemical evaluation, a dietary history, anthropometric measurements and a clinical examination. Results. Serum vitamin B6 levels were below normal in 56% of patients from group 1 and 59% from group 2. Vitamin B6 intake, however, was insufficient in only 14% of patients from group 1 and 10% from group 2. Serum vitamin C levels were below normal in 7% of patients from group 1 and 24% from group 2, while vitamin C intake was insufficient in 21% and 14% of patients from groups 1 and 2 respectively. Serum magnesium levels were below normal in 55% of patients from group 1, and in 28% from group 2. Serum albumin and cholesterol levels increased significantly during the post-transplant period in the total sample (P = 0.0001). There was also a significant increase in body mass index (P = 0.0001) during the post-transplant period. Conclusions. Several nutritional abnormalities were observed, which primarily reflect the side-effects of immunosuppressive therapy. The causes, consequences and treatment of the vitamin B6 and vitamin C deficiencies in renal transplant recipients need further investigation.