Cardiovascular health in pediatric heart transplant patients

Carmel Bogle*, Amanda Marma Perak, Sarah J. Wilkens, Alaa Aljiffry, Karen Rychlik, John M. Costello, Donald M. Lloyd-Jones, Elfriede Pahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Ideal “cardiovascular health” (CVH)–optimal diet, exercise, nonsmoking, BMI, BP, lipids, and glucose—is associated with healthy longevity in adults. Pediatric heart transplant (HT) patients may be at risk for suboptimal CVH. Methods: Single-center retrospective study of HT patients 2003–2014 who survived 1 year post-transplant. Five CVH metrics were collected at listing, 1, 3 and 5 years post-transplant (diet and exercise were unavailable). CVH was scored by summing individual metrics: ideal = 2, intermediate = 1, and poor = 0 points; total scores of 8–10 points were considered high (favorable). CVH was compared between HT patients and the US pediatric population (GP) utilizing NHANES 2007–2016. Logistic regression was performed to examine the association of CVH 1 year post-transplant with a composite adverse outcome (death, re-listing, coronary vasculopathy, or chronic kidney disease) 3 years post-transplant. Results: We included 110 HT patients (median age at HT: 6 years [range 0.1–21]) and 19,081 NHANES participants. CVH scores among HT patients were generally high at listing (75%), 1 (74%), 3 (87%) and 5 (76%) years post-transplant and similar to GP, but some metrics (e.g., glucose) were worse among HT patients. Among HT patients, CVH was poorer with older age and non-Caucasian race/ethnicity. Per 1-point higher CVH score, the demographic-adjusted OR for adverse outcomes was 0.95 (95% CI, 0.7–1.4). Conclusions: HT patients had generally favorable CVH, but some metrics were unfavorable and CVH varied by age and race/ethnicity. No significant association was detected between CVH and adverse outcomes in this small sample, but study in a larger sample is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number139
JournalBMC Cardiovascular Disorders
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Cardiometabolic
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Heart transplant
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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