MONDAY, May 2, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Adolescent and young adult (AYA) solid organ transplant recipients should be supported after transfer to adult health care, with improved clinical outcomes in association with successful retention in adult health care, according to a study published online April 7 in Pediatric Transplantation.

Kelly E. Rea, from the University of Georgia in Athens, and colleagues examined health care utilization, medical outcomes, and transition success among 49 AYA recipients of heart, kidney, or liver transplants who had recently been transferred to adult health care. Differences in outcomes were examined for two transition success criteria: initial engagement in adult health care within six or 12 months of the last pediatric appointment and retention in adult health care over three years after the last pediatric appointment.

The researchers found that compared with initial engagement, successful retention in adult health care related significantly to more improved clinical outcomes, including reduced number and duration of hospitalizations and greater adherence to medications. There were significant decreases observed in appointment attendance over three years; age at transfer and time since transplant did not account for individual differences in these decreases.

“Findings underscore the importance of supporting AYAs after transfer. It is not enough to only focus on preparation prior to the transfer event,” the authors write.

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