Diabetes significantly increases long-term mortality risk for patients following liver transplantation, say researchers.
Patients with diabetes often have worse health-related outcomes than nondiabetic patients for many medical conditions, but whether this is true for patients undergoing liver transplant is uncertain.
Andrew Samuelson (Stanford University, California, USA) and co-authors carried out a retrospective analysis of 370 patients who underwent liver transplantation at Stanford University Medical Center between 1995 and 2006.
In total, 62 patients had diabetes and 308 did not. Diabetics were older on average than nondiabetics, at 54.4 versus 50.1 years. They also had a higher mean body mass index (BMI), at 28.6 versus 27.1 kg/m2, and a lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, at 17 versus 19.
Writing in the journal valtrex online Digestive Diseases and Sciences, the team reports that after 4.5 years of follow-up, 81% of the diabetic group compared with 94% of the controls had survived.
After adjustment for age, BMI, presence of hepatitis C, and MELD score, the presence of diabetes increased the risk for death during follow-up a significant 3.11-fold.
“Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for mortality following liver transplantation,” summarize the authors.
“Further investigation of this relationship should focus on the impact of more intensive pre- and post-liver transplantation glucose control, cardiovascular risk factor reduction, and the effects of accelerated atherosclerosis in the setting of immune suppression,” they suggest.
“Progress in addressing cardiovascular issues for diabetics may also extend survival in nondiabetic patients with significant cardiovascular disease.”