A new study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society suggests that survival rates after heart transplant surgery are similar in adults ages 18 to 69 and adults ages 70 and older.
Researchers examined a large U.S. database of patients who were listed as candidates for surgery to replace their failing hearts with healthier donor hearts. The researchers found that:
- Only 1 in 50 people who are considered for heart transplant surgery and 1 in 50 people who receive a heart transplant are ages 70 or older.
- For older adults in the study, the likelihood of surviving one or five years after a heart transplant was about the same as for younger adults.
- Having a stroke after heart transplant surgery was more common in older adults, but the risk in both age groups was low.
- Older patients were more likely to receive hearts from higher-risk donors, who are older and more likely to have diabetes and high blood pressure.
- Advanced age alone should not prevent people from being considered as candidates for heart transplants.
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