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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00791

Prevalence and correlates of cognitive impairment in kidney transplant patients using the DemTect – Results of a KTx360°substudy

 Mariel Nöhre1, 2*, Maximilian Bauer-Hohmann1, 2,  Felix Klewitz1, 2, Eva-Marie Kyaw Tha Tun1, 2, 3, Uwe Tegtbur2, 4,  Lars Pape2, 5, Lena Schiffer2, 5,  Martina De Zwaan1, 2 and Mario Schiffer2, 6, 7
  • 1Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Germany
  • 2Other, Germany
  • 3Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
  • 4Department of Sports Medicine, Hannover Medical School, Germany
  • 5Department of Pediatric Kidney, Liver and Metabolic Diseases, Hannover Medical School, Germany
  • 6Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, University Hospital Erlangen, Germany
  • 7Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, Hannover Medical School, Germany

Cognitive impairment in kidney transplantation (KTx) patients is associated with allograft survival and mortality. However, the prevalence of cognitive impairment after KTx is still understudied. Thus, we aimed to assess the prevalence of cognitive impairment in KTx patients and to identify sociodemographic, medical, donation-specific, and psychological variables associated with cognitive impairment.
In this cross-sectional two-center study, 583 KTx patients participated in a structured post-transplant care program. The DemTect was used to assess cognition, and cognitive impairment was defined as a score of < 13.
Mean age was 52.11 years, 59% were male, 27.4% had ≥12 years of school attendance, and 85.9% had hypertension. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 15.6%. Cognitive impairment was significantly associated with higher age, male sex, lower educational level, subjective perception of cognitive decline, higher rates of hypertension, lower kidney functioning, and obesity (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Using logistic regression analysis, all variables except age remained significant.
Our results suggest that cognitive impairment affects a significant number of patients after KTx. Transplant centers may consider screening for cognitive impairment using objective tests, especially in patients with a high-risk profile. Furthermore, studies with longitudinal designs are required assessing moderators and mediators for cognitive trajectories.

Keywords: Kidney Transplantation, Renal transplantation, DemTect, Cognitive impairment (CI), cognitive functioning

Received: 16 Jul 2019; Accepted: 04 Oct 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Nöhre, Bauer-Hohmann, Klewitz, Kyaw Tha Tun, Tegtbur, Pape, Schiffer, De Zwaan and Schiffer. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Mariel Nöhre, Hannover Medical School, Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hanover, Germany,