Date of Conferral





Public Health


Srikanta Banerjee


An increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome and obesity has been linked to the rise in transplant indication for cryptogenic cirrhosis and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), creating a growing challenge to public health. NAFLD liver transplant (LT) candidates are listed with low priority, and their waiting mortality is high. The impact of community/geographic factors on donor risk models is unknown. The purpose of this study was to develop a parsimonious donor risk-adjusted model tailored to NAFLD recipients by assessing the impact of donor, recipient, transplant, and external factors on graft survival. The theoretical framework was the social ecological model. Secondary data were collected from 3,165 consecutive recipients from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients and Community Health Scores, a proxy of community health disparities derived from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's community health rankings. Data were examined using univariate and multivariate analyses. The donor risk-adjusted model was developed using donor-only factors and supplemented with recipient and transplant factors, classifying donors as low, medium, and high risk. NAFLD residents in high-risk counties had increased likelihood of liver graft failure. Findings may be used to allocate high-risk donors to a subset of NAFLD with excellent outcomes, increasing the donor pool and decreasing mortality on the wait list.