Metabolic syndrome is diagnosed when someone has at least three of these following: body mass index greater than 30 or waist size larger than 40 inches for men or 35 inches for women, high levels of triglycerides, low levels of "good" cholesterol, high blood pressure or high levels of blood sugar.
The study followed 298 patients for three years after simultaneous kidney-pancreas transplantation. The researchers found that the prevalence of metabolic syndrome decreased from 59 percent prior to transplant to 19 percent one year after transplant. This would be expected because the transplant would eliminate diabetes one of the components of metabolic syndrome.
Patients who had metabolic syndrome one year after transplant were 10 times more likely to have reduced kidney function three years after transplant than patients who did not have metabolic syndrome. The researchers analyzed how function of the transplanted pancreas affected the relationship between metabolic syndrome and kidney function and found that patients with metabolic syndrome who developed early pancreas transplant failure had the highest risk of developing long-term kidney dysfunction.
Rogers said that further study was needed to better understand the role a functioning pancreas transplant plays in preserving kidney transplant function in patients with metabolic syndrome so that long-term survival of both organs can continue to be improved.