April 2015, 23:1

15 April 2015

Original Article

Original Article

Risk factors for cardiovascular events among Asian patients without pre-existing cardiovascular disease on the renal transplant wait list

Wong Ningyan, Chin Chee Tang, Tee Ping Sing, Khin Lay Wai, Angela S. Koh, Kee Yi Shern,Terence, Tan Wei Chieh, Jack

ASEAN Heart Journal

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For suitable end-stage renal failure (ESRF) patients, renal transplantation gives better long term survival and quality of life as compared to dialysis. Prior to entry into the renal transplant wait list, potential candidates are screened for the presence of cardiovascular disease. However, the waiting time on the transplant list is long, and interval screening for cardiac fitness for surgery is not well defined. We aim to study the risk factors for the development of a cardiovascular event (CVE) and the time interval from recruitment to onset of a CVE that resulted in their removal from the transplant wait list.


A retrospective study of all patients registered under the cadaveric renal transplant waiting list in Singapore General Hospital (SGH) from 16th April 1987 to 31st October 2010. We identified patients who developed a CVE among this cohort. We compared the demographics and clinical characteristics of patients who experienced a CVE versus those who did not. Univariable and multivariable cox regression were performed to investigate the significant variables for the development of a CVE. The time to development of CVE was estimated using Kaplan Meier estimation and log-rank test was used to compare the time to CVE between those with diabetes mellitus and those without.


1265 patients were enrolled in this study. 273 patients dropped out of the wait list due to medical reasons or death, of which 38.8% were due to CVE. The mean and median time duration from recruitment into the waiting list to development of a CVE was 14.42 (95% CI 13.72 to 15.11) and 15.69 (95% CI 13.86 to 17.51) years respectively. For patients with diabetes mellitus, this was 8.22 (95% CI 6.30 to 10.14) and 8.16 (95% CI 4.95 to 11.36) years respectively. Factors associated with an increased risk of developing a CVE included male gender (adjusted HR 2.21, 95% CI 1.43 to 3.41, p<0.001), presence of diabetes mellitus (adjusted HR 5.13, 95% CI 2.85 to 9.24, p<0.001) and patients who were either not working or working part-time as compared to their full-time counterparts (adjusted HR 1.76, 95% CI 1.14 to 2.72, p=0.010). In addition, hazard ratio for CVE significantly increased with advancing age quartile (p<0.001 by log rank test for trend).


A significant proportion of patients exited from the renal transplant wait list due to a CVE. Being male, age 37 years old or more, presence of diabetes mellitus and non-working or part-time workers as compared to full-time workers were found to increase the risk of developing a CVE during the wait period for transplantation. The presence of diabetes mellitus significantly shortened the time to development of a CVE.


Renal Transplant - Wait List - Medical Reason - Cadaveric Renal Transplant - Singapore General Hospital




1 Department of Internal Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

2 Department of Cardiology, National Heart Centre Singapore, Singapore

3 Department of Renal Medicine, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore

4 Duke-National University Singapore Graduate Medical School, Singapore

5 Investigational Medical Unit, Dean’s Office, and Department of Surgery, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Open Access: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0) which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and the source are credited.


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