Older patients can take heart in new transplantation study
Policy makers who use age as a discriminating factor in determining eligibility for heart transplant surgery may want to reconsider their rules in the light of new research at the University of Alberta. Published in the Journal of Cardiac Surgery, the study shows that older heart transplant recipients fare just as well as their younger counterparts, even many years after surgery.
The study involved all 275 adult patients who received a heart transplant at the University of Alberta Hospital between 1990 and 2000. The researchers documented morbidity and mortality rates for up to 11 years after surgery and found no statistically significant differences between the 50 heart transplant recipients who were older than 60 when they received their new heart and the 225 recipients who were younger than 60. "There are many factors involved in determining who is and who isn’t an appropriate candidate for a heart transplant, but this study clearly shows that age should not be one of those factors," said Dr. Shaohua Wang, an attending surgeon and clinical professor of cardiac surgery at the U of A and the lead author of the study.
Ryan Smith | EurekAlert!
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