Mortality Trends around the One-Year Survival Mark after Heart, Liver, and Lung Transplantation in the United States

Abstract [from journal]

Introduction: One-year post-transplant survival is a significant quality measure for solid organ transplant programs in the United States. It is not known whether the use of this metric is associated with changes in life-sustaining clinical practices that would delay mortality for solid organ recipients until just beyond the one-year time point.

Methods: We compared trends in mortality in the time period immediately preceding the one-year post-transplant mark compared to the period immediately after using second-order Cox proportional hazard regression models.

Results: Among recipients of heart, liver, and lung transplantation, mortality did not decrease significantly in the period immediately before day 365 or increase in the 14 days thereafter. There was an increased adjusted hazard of mortality in the 30 days following day 365 among lung transplant recipients (HR 1.33, 95% CI 1.03 - 1.72, p=0.03) with a 0.76% absolute mortality rate (94 deaths) in month 12 following lung transplantation and a 1.14% absolute mortality rate in month 13 (113 deaths).

Conclusion: Although we did not find evidence that life-sustaining treatment is routinely continued until just beyond the one-year mark in heart and liver transplantation recipients, there was an unexpected increased risk of mortality in the 30 days following day 365 among lung transplant recipients.