Education and counseling of renal transplant recipients

Claudio Ponticelli, Giorgio Graziani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A large number of factors can influence the clinical out-come of kidney transplant recipients, but the active role of the patient to prevent the possible complications related to transplant and its treatment is often neglected. Poor adherence to prescriptions is frequent in transplant recipients and represents a major contributor to the development of graft failure, cardiovascular disease, infection and/or malignancy. Smoking can render the patient more susceptible to cancer, cardiovascular disease and infection, and can also impair renal allograft function. The risk of malignancy is increased in transplant recipients. Therefore screening for cancer is of paramount importance. Measures that can enable prevention or early detection of cancer include self-exams and screening, physical activity, avoidance of smoking and sun exposure, and a diet rich in fruits and vegetables but limited in fats, red meats, salt and alcohol. Regular exercise can help to prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer. Thus regular exercise is recommended. Yet, too many transplant patients remain sedentary. Weight gain is common in renal allograft recipients and may be associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia and/or glucose intolerance or overt diabetes. To prevent these complications, patients should follow diet regimens based on low fat and normal/low caloric intake. Small amounts of alcohol may be permitted in view of its potential cardioprotective effect, but a large consumption of alcohol can be responsible for devastating side effects. Last but not least, abidance by hygienic measures may help in preventing cardiovascular and infectious complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)879-889
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Nephrology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


  • Adherence to prescriptions
  • Compliance
  • Renal transplantation
  • Self-management
  • Transplant complications
  • Transplant outcome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology


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