Kidney Transplant Recipients' Perspectives on Cardiovascular Disease and Related Risk Factors After Transplantation: A Qualitative Study

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Abstract

Background

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of mortality among kidney transplant recipients (KTRs). These patients have a high prevalence of risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. Despite regular medical care, few of them reach the recommended therapeutic targets. The objective of this study is to describe KTRs' perspectives on CVD and related risk factors, as well as their priorities for posttransplant care.

Methods

Twenty-six KTRs participated in a semistructured interview about their personal experience and offered their perspectives on CVD risk factors posttransplant. The interview was digitally recorded and the transcripts were analyzed using a thematic and content methodology.

Results

CVD and related risk factors appear to be underestimated and trivialized. Only 2 of 26 patients identified CVD prevention and treatment as a priority. The most important posttransplant priorities identified by patients were related to immunosuppressive drugs (13 of 26), posttransplant follow-up (10) and graft survival (9). However, 21 of 26 patients stated they wanted to be better informed about posttransplant CVD risk factors.

Conclusions

CVD and related risk factors are not a priority for KTRs, and the importance of CVD is underestimated and trivialized. KTRs did recommend that tailored information be provided by various professionals and at several points in the transplantation process. This knowledge will help us develop a new approach to increase awareness of posttransplant CVD and related risk factors.

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