Health Services Research & Development

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Lynch RJ, Patzer RE, Pastan SO, Bowling CB, Plantinga LC. Recent History of Serious Fall Injuries and Posttransplant Outcomes Among US Kidney Transplant Recipients. Transplantation. 2019 May 1; 103(5):1043-1050.
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Abstract: BACKGROUND: Serious fall injuries are associated with poor outcomes among dialysis patients, but whether these associations hold in patients with a history of serious fall injury before kidney transplantation is unknown. METHODS: In national administrative data, 22?474 US adults receiving a first kidney transplant in 2011-2014 with at least 1 year of follow-up before transplant were identified. Serious fall injuries in the year before transplant were identified using diagnostic codes for falls and simultaneous fractures, dislocations, or head trauma in inpatient or outpatient claims. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards models to estimate associations of incident posttransplant outcomes with serious fall injury in the year before transplant. RESULTS: A total of 620 (2.8%) recipients had serious fall injuries before transplant and were more likely to be white, female, and have more comorbid conditions than those without a fall injury. Although posttransplant recipient survival did not differ by recent serious fall injuries (hazard ratio [HR], 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.78-1.36), these injuries were associated with 33% higher rates of graft failure (HR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.03-1.72). Patients with serious fall injuries spent 12.1% of posttransplant follow-up hospitalized, a 3.3-fold higher rate than those without a fall, and had nearly 2-fold higher rates of skilled nursing facility utilization (HR, 1.98; 95% CI, 1.52-2.57). CONCLUSIONS: Serious fall injuries are independently associated with significantly greater resource requirements and lower graft survival. Further study is needed to delineate the relationship between falls and adverse outcomes in transplant and reduce the incidence and deleterious effects of these events.