Risk factors for fractures following liver transplantation: a population-based cohort study

Jei Wen Chang, Hui Hsin Yang, Niang Cheng Lin, Fang Cheng Kuo, Tzu Ching Lin, Hsin Lin Tsai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Liver transplant recipients have an increased risk of osteoporosis and fractures. The aim of this study was to identify risk factors for fractures after liver transplant in a Taiwanese population. Methods: We identified newly diagnosed liver transplant recipients from the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan between 2003 and 2015. Risk factors of post-transplant fractures were analyzed using a Cox proportional hazards model. Results: A total of 4821 patients underwent liver transplantation, of whom 419 (8.7%) had post-transplant fractures. Independent predictors of post-transplant fractures were age ≥65 years at transplantation (hazard ratio (HR): 1.566; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.122–2.186), female sex (HR: 1.648; 95% CI 1.319–2.057), fractures within 1 year prior to transplant (HR: 3.664; 95% CI 2.503–5.364), hepatitis C carriers (HR: 1.594; 95% CI 1.289–1.970), alcoholism (HR: 1.557; 95% CI 1.087–2.230) and daily prednisolone dose >1.61–3.78 mg/day (HR: 1.354; 95% CI 1.005–1.824), >3.78–9.18 mg (HR: 4.182; 95% CI 3.155–5.544) and >9.18 mg (HR: 13.334; 95% CI 9.506–18.703). Post-transplant fractures were inversely correlated with tacrolimus (HR: 0.617; 95% CI 0.417–0.913) and sirolimus/everolimus (HR: 0.504; 95% CI 0.391–0.650) treatment. Conclusions: The liver transplant recipients, and especially those who were aged ≥65 years, female, hepatitis C carriers, had a history of fractures within 1 year prior to transplant, alcoholism, and higher daily prednisolone dose were associated with an increased risk of post-transplant fractures. Conversely, the use of tacrolimus and sirolimus/everolimus was associated with a decreased risk of fractures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2230871
JournalAnnals of Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Fracture
  • glucocorticoid
  • hepatitis B
  • hepatitis C
  • immunosuppressant
  • liver transplantation


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