Overweight and obesity in pediatric liver transplant recipients: prevalence and predictors before and after transplant, United Network for Organ Sharing Data, 1987-2010

Pediatr Transplant. 2012 Feb;16(1):41-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-3046.2011.01598.x. Epub 2011 Nov 17.


Obesity is extremely common in adult liver transplant recipients and healthy U.S. children. Little is known about the prevalence or risk factors for post-transplant obesity in pediatric liver transplant recipients. UNOS data on all U.S. liver transplants 1987-2010 in children 6 months-20 yr at transplant were analyzed. Subjects were categorized as underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese by CDC guidelines. Predictors of weight status at and after transplant were identified using multivariate logistic regression. Of 3043 children 6-24 months at transplant, 14% were overweight. Of 4658 subjects 2-20 yr at transplant, 16% were overweight and 13% obese. Children overweight/obese at transplant were more likely to be overweight/obese at one, two, and five yr after transplant in all age groups after adjusting for age, ethnicity, primary diagnosis, year of transplant, and transplant type. Weight status at transplant was not associated with overweight/obesity by 10 yr after transplant. The prevalence of post-transplant obesity remained high in long-term follow-up, from 20% to 50% depending on age and weight status at transplant. Weight status at transplant is the strongest predictor of post-transplant overweight/obesity. To optimize long-term outcomes in pediatric liver transplant recipients, monitoring for obesity and its comorbidities is important.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Failure / epidemiology
  • Liver Failure / therapy
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Overweight*
  • Prevalence
  • Registries
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States