Study reveals US transplant recipient health outcomes advantage drops after first year

“While kidney transplant recipients in the United States initially have better outcomes compared to patients in other countries, registry data show that advantage disappears after the first year, according to a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

The authors of the paper, led by Robert M. Merion, MD, of the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, said some of those diminishing outcomes — the authors of the study estimate U.S. patients had a 25% greater risk of graft failure after the first year — may be due to how those transplant patients are managed.

“While kidney transplant recipients in the United States initially have better outcomes compared to patients in other countries, registry data show that advantage disappears after the first year, according to a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

The authors of the paper, led by Robert M. Merion, MD, of the Arbor Research Collaborative for Health, said some of those diminishing outcomes — the authors of the study estimate U.S. patients had a 25% greater risk of graft failure after the first year — may be due to how those transplant patients are managed.

 ‘... There are other differences in health care systems and potentially identifiable differences in post-transplantation care practice patterns that would be candidates to study as factors leading to disparate kidney transplant outcomes around the world,’ the authors wrote. ‘Focused studies of transplant center practices (eg, the extent to which uniform patient care guidelines are used; the timing and extent of return of care responsibility from the transplant center to local physicians; differences in immunosuppression practices) are needed to better understand the differences in outcome we observed and to suggest interventions in post-transplantation care to test as best practices.’”

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