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Age Alone Does Not Increase Risk Of Death Following Liver Transplantation

Armen Hareyan's picture

Liver Transplantation

Advanced age alone does not appear to be associated with an increased risk of death following liver transplant surgery.

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The report, which appears in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, published by the American Medical Association, notes that life expectancy has increased in recent years, with individuals older than 70 representing a large and fast-growing segment of the general population. A healthy 70-year-old adult living in a developed country with a nutritious diet and good medical care can expect to live to age 80 or 90.

"As longevity has increased, the burden of liver disease in patients of advancing age has also increased and is associated with a higher mortality than in younger adults," the authors write. "In the 1980s, the death rate from chronic liver disease was highest in patients 65 to 74 years of age. This has led to more older patients undergoing liver transplantation."

Dr. Gerald S. Lipshutz, a UCLA associate professor of surgery, and his colleagues at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA reviewed the records of patients who received their first liver transplant between 1988 and 2005 at the Dumont