Association Between Neighborhood-level Socioeconomic Deprivation and the Medication Level Variability Index for Children Following Liver Transplantation

Sharad I. Wadhwani, John C. Bucuvalas, Cole Brokamp, Ravinder Anand, Ashutosh Gupta, Stuart Taylor, Eyal Shemesh, Andrew F. Beck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background. Neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation is associated with adverse health outcomes. We sought to determine if neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation was associated with adherence to immunosuppressive medications after liver transplantation. Methods. We conducted a secondary analysis of a multicenter, prospective cohort of children enrolled in the medication adherence in children who had a liver transplant study (enrollment 2010-2013). Participants (N = 271) received a liver transplant ≥1 year before enrollment and were subsequently treated with tacrolimus. The primary exposure, connected to geocoded participant home addresses, was a neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation index (range 0-1, higher indicates more deprivation). The primary outcome was the medication level variability index (MLVI), a surrogate measure of adherence to immunosuppression in pediatric liver transplant recipients. Higher MLVI indicates worse adherence behavior; values ≥2.5 are predictive of late allograft rejection. Results. There was a 5% increase in MLVI for each 0.1 increase in deprivation index (95% confidence interval, -1% to 11%; P = 0.08). Roughly 24% of participants from the most deprived quartile had an MLVI ≥2.5 compared with 12% in the remaining 3 quartiles (P = 0.018). Black children were more likely to have high MLVI even after adjusting for deprivation (adjusted odds ratio 4.0 95% confidence interval, 1.7-10.6). Conclusions. This is the first study to evaluate associations between neighborhood socioeconomic deprivation and an objective surrogate measure of medication adherence in children posttransplant. These findings suggest that neighborhood context may be an important consideration when assessing adherence. Differential rates of medication adherence may partly explain links between neighborhood factors and adverse health outcomes following pediatric liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2346-2353
Number of pages8
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020


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