A study at the University Medical Center Groningen in the Netherlands suggests that in contrast with common advice for kidney transplant recipients to refrain from drinking alcohol, drinking moderate amounts of alcohol appears to protect against diabetes and premature death in kidney transplant recipients, similar to the general population.
Source: Corpeleijn E, et al. Moderate alcohol consumption is associated with low prevalence of post-transplant diabetes and reduced risk for mortality in renal transplant recipients. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Nephrology, Denver, Colorado, November 18, 2010.
Researchers studied 600 renal transplant recipients who had their transplant more than one prior and followed them for several years post-transplant. Of these, 288 (48%) were abstainers, 94 (16%) sporadic drinkers, 210 (35%) had moderate alcohol intake, and 8 (1%) were heavy drinkers. Moderate alcohol drinkers were 67% less likely to develop diabetes than other types of drinkers/nondrinkers. During an average follow-up of seven years, moderate alcohol drinkers were 44% less likely to die than other types of drinkers/nondrinkers.
“Quality of life in renal transplant recipients is under pressure by many threats, restrictions, and recommendations,” said researchers. “Our results indicate that one of the restraints on quality of life in stable renal transplant recipients may be released. There seems no reason to advise renal transplant recipients to abstain from alcohol post-transplant.”