Reduction in Cardiovascular Death After Kidney Transplantation

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Background.Cardiovascular (CVS) disease is the commonest cause of death after kidney transplantation. In the general population, CVS mortality has reduced significantly over the last two decades; however, this trend has not been specifically examined in the kidney transplant population.Methods:We studied all patients in Australia and New Zealand with a functioning kidney transplant between 1980 and 2007 and examined trends in the cause and timing of all 2195 deaths recorded after kidney transplantation in the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant registry. Poisson regression was used to compare death rates over the time periods.Results:CVS events were the commonest cause of death throughout all the time points examined; however, CVS death rates significantly decreased with an adjusted risk ratio of 0.61 (95% confidence interval, 0.38–0.96; P=0.034) for 2005 to 2007 era. In comparison, death rates due to malignancy have increased significantly over this period. Decreased CVS death rates have occurred despite increasing comorbidity at the time of transplantation. Factors associated with CVS death were older recipient age, preexisting CVS disease, and diabetes mellitus. There was a significantly lower CVS death rate in patients with a glomerular filtration rate >48 mL/min compared with those with poor renal function (risk ratio, 0.66; 95% confidence interval, 0.45–0.95; P=0.024).Conclusions:These trends suggest improvements in CVS risk management and outcomes in the kidney transplant population in Australia and New Zealand.

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