Background: Previous risk factor studies in cardiac transplant patients have analyzed pre-transplant risk factors as they relate to outcomes. This study is the first in-depth multicenter assessment of ongoing post-transplant risk factors in heart transplant patients and their impact on 5-year outcomes. Methods: We reviewed 280 heart transplant patients who survived >1 year for the impact of post-transplant risk factors (hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, body mass index [BMI] and renal dysfunction: 8 to 18 possible measurements over 5 years) on outcomes, including death, cardiac allograft vasculopathy (CAV) and non-fatal major adverse cardiac events (NF-MACE). Results: Upon multivariate Cox regression analysis, significant findings were high total-cholesterol for NF-MACE (relative risk [RR] = 4.34, confidence interval [CI] 1.35 to 13.98, p = 0.01), presence of diabetes for NF-MACE (RR = 3.96, CI 1.24 to 12.65, p = 0.02) and high serum creatinine for graft death (RR = 1.59, CI 1.35 to 1.87, p < 0.001). No covariates were found to be significant for CAV. Other significant risk factors by univariate Cox regression models with time-dependent covariates included BMI ≥33 for graft death. Conclusions: Post-transplant risk factors of hypercholesterolemia and diabetes are associated with NF-MACE, whereas high serum creatinine and BMI ≥33 are associated with graft death. Risk factor modification, including direct therapy to minimize risk factors, should be considered.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine