High risk of graft failure in emerging adult heart transplant recipients

B. J. Foster, M. Dahhou, X. Zhang, V. Dharnidharka, V. Ng, J. Conway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Emerging adulthood (17-24 years) is a period of high risk for graft failure in kidney transplant. Whether a similar association exists in heart transplant recipients is unknown. We sought to estimate the relative hazards of graft failure at different current ages, compared with patients between 20 and 24 years old. We evaluated 11 473 patients recorded in the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients who received a first transplant at <40 years old (1988-2013) and had at least 6 months of graft function. Time-dependent Cox models were used to estimate the association between current age (time-dependent) and failure risk, adjusted for time since transplant and other potential confounders. Failure was defined as death following graft failure or retransplant; observation was censored at death with graft function. There were 2567 failures. Crude age-specific graft failure rates were highest in 21-24 year olds (4.2 per 100 person-years). Compared to individuals with the same time since transplant, 21-24 year olds had significantly higher failure rates than all other age periods except 17-20 years (HR 0.92 [95%CI 0.77, 1.09]) and 25-29 years (0.86 [0.73, 1.03]). Among young first heart transplant recipients, graft failure risks are highest in the period from 17 to 29 years of age. This Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients study of heart transplant recipients ≤40 years old shows that heart graft failure rates peak at 21-24 years old, with an interval of increased failure risk extending from 17-29 years old.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3185-3193
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2015


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