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Incidence of cardiovascular disease and mortality in childhood solid organ transplant recipients: a population-based study

Brar S, Dixon SN, Paterson JM, Dirk J, Hahn E, Kim SJ, Ng V, Solomon M, Vasilevska-Ristovska J, Banh T, Nathan PC, Parekh RS, Chanchlani R. Pediatr Nephrol. 2022; Jul 18 [Epub ahead of print]. DOI:

Background — With improved survival among children after transplantation, our understanding of the risk for developing other comorbidities is improving, yet little is known about the long-term risk of cardiovascular events and mortality after solid organ transplantation.

Methods — In a cohort study using health administrative data, we compared cardiovascular events in children (n = 615) with liver, lung, kidney, small bowel, or multi-organ transplant at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada, with asthmatic children (n = 481,697) between 1996 and 2014. Outcomes included non-fatal cardiovascular events, cardiovascular death, all-cause mortality, and a composite of non-fatal and fatal cardiovascular events. Time-stratified Cox proportional hazards models were used.

Results — Among 615 children, 317 (52%) were recipients of kidneys, 253 (41%) of livers, and the remaining 45 (7%) had lung, small bowel, or multi-organ transplants. Median follow-up was 12.1 [7.2, 16.7] years. Non-fatal incident cardiovascular events were 34 times higher among solid organ transplant recipients than non-transplanted children (incidence rate ratio (IRR) 34.4, 95% CI: 25.5, 46.4). Among transplant recipients, the cumulative incidence of non-fatal and fatal cardiovascular events was 2.3% and 13.0%, 5 and 15 years after transplantation, respectively.

Conclusions — Increased rate of cardiovascular events in children after transplantation highlights the need for surveillance during transition into adulthood and beyond.