The incidence, risks, and outcomes associated with pulmonary hypertension (P-HTN) in the kidney transplant (KTx) population are not well described.
We linked U.S. transplant registry data with Medicare claims (2006-2016) to investigate P-HTN diagnoses among Medicare-insured KTx recipients (N=35,512) using billing claims. Cox regression was applied to identify independent correlates and outcomes of P-HTN (adjusted hazard ratio, aHR, 95%LCLaHR95%UCL), and to examine P-HTN diagnoses as time-dependent mortality predictors.
Overall, 8.2% of recipients had a diagnostic code for P-HTN within 2 years preceding transplant. By 3 years posttransplant, P-HTN was diagnosed in 10.310.6%11.0 of the study cohort. After adjustment, posttransplant P-HTN was more likely in KTx recipients who were older (aHR for age >60 vs. 18-30 years: 1.912.403.01) or female (aHR, 220.127.116.11), who had pretransplant P-HTN (aHR, 4.384.795.24), coronary artery disease (aHR, 1.051.151.27), valvular heart disease (aHR, 1.221.321.43), peripheral vascular disease (aHR, 1.051.181.33), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR, 1.201.311.43), obstructive sleep apnea (aHR, 1.151.281.43), longer dialysis duration, pretransplant hemodialysis (aHR, 1.171.371.59), or who underwent transplant in the more recent era (2012-2016 vs. 2006-2011: aHR, 1.291.391.51). Posttransplant P-HTN was associated with >2.5-fold increased risk of mortality (aHR, 2.572.843.14) and all-cause graft failure (aHR, 2.422.642.88) within 3 years posttransplant. Outcome associations of newly-diagnosed posttransplant P-HTN were similar.
Posttransplant P-HTN is diagnosed in 1 in 10 KTx recipients and is associated with an increased risk of death and graft failure. Future research is needed to refine diagnostic, classification, and management strategies to improve outcomes in KTx recipients who develop P-HTN.
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