Cardiometabolic risks vary by weight status in pediatric kidney and liver transplant recipients: A cross-sectional, single-center study in the USA

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There is an increasing need to understand long-term metabolic changes and resultant comorbidities because life expectancy is increasing after pediatric kidney and liver transplants. We evaluated differences in classic and novel cardiometabolic biomarkers among obese and normal weight adolescent transplant recipients. We enrolled a total of 80 adolescent (mean±SD, 14.8 years ±3.0) transplant recipients (63 kidney, 17 liver) with mean duration from transplantation of 6.0 (±4.1) years. Among kidney transplant recipients, overweight and obese individuals had higher leptin (16.7 vs 7.5 μg/mL, P<.001), lower HDL (1.1 vs 1.3 mmol/L, P=.02), higher free fatty acid (0.6 vs 0.5 mmol/L, P=.03), higher apoB-to-apoA1 ratio (0.8 vs 0.6, P=.03), and higher glucose (5.8 vs 4.3 mmol/L, P=.03) concentrations compared to normal weight individuals. Regardless of obesity status, over half of all participants (57.5%) were considered at high cardiometabolic risk using consensus guidelines, and this was more pronounced for kidney transplant recipients (61.9%). Post-transplantation adolescents have increased cardiometabolic risk characterized by traditional risk factors of obesity and diabetes. The presence of obesity significantly worsens biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk. Future studies should explore whether treatment of obesity can improve the health and long-term outcomes for children undergoing solid organ transplant.

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