Experimental evidence and clinical experience suggest that non-immunologic factors are important predictors of long-term renal allograft survival. It has been suggested that chronic allograft failure may in some cases by mediated by non-immunologic factors implicated in the pathobiology of other forms of progressive renal disease. Donor age, sex, and race may influence the "dose" of nephrons delivered in cadaveric renal transplantation. The United Network of Organ Sharing 1994 Public Use Data Tape was used to evaluate these and other risk factors in more than 31,000 recipients of cadaver allografts followed between 1987 and 1992. Female sex and African American race of the donor were important predictors of allograft failure. There was a markedly increased risk of allograft failure at both extremes of donor age. Recipients of large body size had accelerated graft loss. Stratified analyses suggested an interaction between donor and recipient race; nevertheless, all non-immunologic factors examined expressed independent associations with allograft survival. In sum, antigen-independent factors appear to be important determinants of allograft performance. Additional multivariable analyses are required to assess the relative importance of these factors compared with other known immunologic factors, such as HLA antigen mismatch. These findings may have important biomedical and health care policy implications.
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