Liver transplant cures liver disease and long-term survival is good. New onset cardiovascular disease (CVD) and risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, are common after transplant and increase the risk of poor health, premature death, poor quality of life (QOL) and greater healthcare cost. It makes sense that good diet and physical activity (PA) are important to reduce CVD risk and improve QOL after liver transplant. However, post-transplant diet and PA behaviours and the determinants of these behaviours are not understood.
This research aims to answer the following research questions:
- What are the diet and PA behaviours of patients after liver transplant?
- What are the determinants of diet and PA behaviours for liver transplant recipients (LTRs)?
- Are diet and PA behaviours associated with CVD risk factors and QOL after liver transplant?
Patients who are between 6 months and three years post liver transplant and have had a liver transplant at Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust will be invited to participate in a cohort study. Data will be collected at baseline and 6-month follow-up. Diet will be measured using recall and blood biomarkers, and PA using a questionnaire and accelerometer. QOL, behaviour determinants, circulating markers of CVD, blood pressure, weight and height data will be collected. Multivariable regression models will examine associations between behaviours and CVD risk, QOL and determinants.
A proportion of participants from the cohort study, with a range of diet and PA behaviours, will be recruited after baseline or follow-up measurements are complete to participate in semi-structured interviews. The interviews will further explore participants’ post-transplant experiences of diet and PA and factors influencing this.
Professor Simon Griffin – University of Cambridge
Dr Michael Allison – Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Kathryn Nash – University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Martin James – Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust
Lynsey Spillman – PhD Student, University of Cambridge and clinical dietitian, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Angela Madden – University of Hertfordshire
Dr Linda Oude Griep – University of Cambridge
Dr Kirsten Rennie – University of Cambridge
The study is jointly sponsored by Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge.
This study is funded by the National Institute for Health Research as a Doctoral Research Fellowship for LS (NIHR reference: DRF-2018-11-ST2-076). This funding includes research and salary costs. The study is being conducted as part of a PhD undertaken by Lynsey Spillman.
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