Excess Mortality among Solid Organ Transplant Recipients in the United States during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Jacob A. Clarke, Timothy L. Wiemken, Kevin M. Korenblat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background. The COVID-19 pandemic is the first sustained respiratory disease pandemic to arise since the start of solid organ transplantation (SOT). Prior studies have demonstrated that SOT recipients are at greater risk for severe complications of infection and are less likely to respond to vaccination. Methods. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients Standard Analysis Files was used to assess the cumulative excess mortality in SOT recipients during the first 20 mo of the pandemic. Results. Compared with excess mortality rates in the US population (25.9 deaths/10 000; confidence interval [CI], 10.9-41.1), the excess mortality per 10 000 was higher in all SOT groups: kidney (188.5; CI, 150.7-225.6), lung (173.6; CI, 17-334.7), heart (123.7; CI, 56-191.4), and liver (105.1; CI, 64.6-146). The higher rates persisted even with attempts to control for population age structure and renal allograft failure. Excess mortality was also higher in Black (236.8; CI, 186.1-287) and Hispanic (256.9; CI, 208.1-305.2) organ recipients compared with other racial and ethnic groups in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and compared with the Black and Hispanic populations in the United States. Conclusions. Studies of excess mortality provide insight into the health and survival of specialized populations like SOT recipients during major health events like the COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2399-2407
Number of pages9
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2022


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