Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is an important driver of mortality after kidney transplantation. Its broader impact on posttransplant health care utilization in US hospitals is unknown.Methods
We used administrative claims data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and the American Hospital Association Annual Survey to identify hospitalizations for kidney transplant patients with a cardiovascular diagnosis from 2005 to 2011. CVD hospitalizations were stratified by transplant hospital status to characterize patterns in inpatient health care utilization and outcomes. Based on these analyses, the domestic burden of treatment for posttransplant CVD (myocardial infarction, stroke, congestive heart failure, dysrhythmia, cardiac arrest, malignant hypertension) was estimated.Results
The total domestic burden of post-kidney transplant hospitalization between 2005 and 2011 is estimated at 389 138 of which 26.5% of episodes were related to CVD (n = 103 118). CVD was responsible for a growing proportion of post-transplant hospitalizations over time (24.4%-30.4%, P < 0.001). Compared with nontransplant hospitals, transplant hospitals had similar length of stay (median length of stay, 3.7 days), higher median costs per hospitalization (US $10 364 vs US $8606, overall US $9324), and lower adjusted mortality (3.2% vs 3.9%, overall 3.6%; P = 0.003).Conclusions
Inpatient CVD care is increasing over time for kidney transplant patients, accounting for 30% of all post-transplant hospitalizations. Variation exists in the inpatient care, outcomes, and costs between by hospital type. Further studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms behind these phenomena.