Sport and exercise in improving outcomes after solid organ transplantation: Overview from a UK meeting

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Conference Proceeding

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Outcomes after solid organ transplantation continue to improve, but premature loss of life remains a major concern, with death from cerebrovascular disease and cardiovascular disease accounting for around 20% late deaths. There are multiple contributory factors including preexisting, and the posttransplant development of, cardiometabolic conditions (such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, hyperlipidemia, and obesity). There is accumulating evidence that the regular engagement in exercise is an important factor affecting outcomes before, during, and after transplantation; yet most waitlist candidates and recipients have reduced levels of physical activity. The mechanisms whereby physical activity is associated with better outcomes and a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease are incompletely understood. Attempts to increase physical activity in the transplant population, as in the general population, have had limited success. Use of concepts from Nudge theory provides an evidence-based approach that may help increase physical activity and so reduce premature mortality. Both National and International Transplant Games provide a vehicle for increasing physical activity in this population and may also help to reduce premature death by providing a forum for mutual support for recipients and their families as well as an excellent forum for highlighting the success and impact of organ donation.

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