PRESS-NEWS.org - Press Release Distribution
FREE PRESS RELEASES DISTRIBUTION

Heart transplants: Age is no barrier to successful surgery

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society research summary

2021-06-09
(Press-News.org) 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. Why We May Need Heart Transplants as We Age

Heart failure develops when your heart can no longer pump enough blood to provide your body with the oxygen and nutrients it needs. It is usually caused by other chronic conditions that become more common as we age and is the leading cause of hospitalizations in people over 65. When heart failure can no longer be treated with medication or medical devices, a heart transplant may be necessary.

Because the supply of donor hearts is limited, healthcare professionals must make decisions about who they think has the most potential for a good recovery and long-term survival. [1] Until recently, many believed that people aged 70 or older were only good candidates for the operation if they: (a) were strong enough; (b) were able to take all the medications needed to prevent their bodies from rejecting their new heart; (c) had strong support from family and friends; (d) did not drink alcohol or smoke; and (e) did not have other serious chronic diseases or infections.

That opinion is changing as the population of older adults increases in the U.S. and a growing number of older patients receive heart transplants with positive results. Because of improvements in patient screening and care after surgery, heart transplant surgery has become an option for people with heart failure who are expected to live five years or less.

What the Researchers Learned

Researchers at the Hartford Hospital in Connecticut included 57,285 adult patients (aged 18 and older) listed as candidates for heart transplant surgery in the U.S. between January 2000 and August 2018 in their study. They found that only one in 50 of these patients was 70 years old or older. Of the 37,135 patients who had heart surgery over the 18-year period, about the same proportion was at least 70 years old, but the number of older patients receiving a heart transplant each year has increased from 30 in 2000 to 132 in 2017.

The researchers looked at the difference between the percentage of patients ages 18-69 and patients aged 70 or older who died (the mortality rate) within one year and five years after heart transplant surgery. There was no significant difference between groups for the mortality rate in the first year after surgery, even though the older patients were more likely to receive hearts from older donors with chronic diseases like diabetes and blood pressure. The difference between the mortality rate for the older and younger patients within five years of heart transplant surgery disappeared when researchers took into consideration factors like patients' body mass index (BMI) and the time patients spent on the transplant waitlist.

Having a stroke after heart transplant surgery was more common for older patients, but the risk was still very low (3.5 percent). In older patients, most strokes occurred during year three of the follow-up period.

Study Limitations

This study's researchers looked at information collected in the past and observed the differences between the older and younger groups. This means they were unable to identify specific causes for their findings. What's more, the number of older patients was very small, making it hard to draw definite conclusions from. Finally, most of the older patients who received heart transplants were white, not frail, and did not have other chronic diseases besides heart failure. The researchers noted that this group of older heart transplant recipients does not represent most older adults who have heart failure.

What This Study Means for You

If you're 70 or older and have heart failure, heart transplant surgery might be a life-extending option for you. Consider asking your heart failure doctor whether you could be a candidate for a heart transplant.

INFORMATION:

This summary is from "Clinical Outcomes of Older Adults Listed for Heart Transplantation in The United States." It appears online ahead of print in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The study authors are Abhishek Jaiswal, MD; Naga Vaishnavi Gadel, MBBS; David Baran, MD; Kathir Balakumaran, MD; Andrew Scatola, MD; Joseph Radojevi, MD; Jason Gluck, MD; Sabeena Arora, MD; Jonathan Hammond, MD; Ayyaz Ali, MD; Douglas L. Jennings, PharmD; and William L. Baker, PharmD.

[1] https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/heart-transplant/about/pac-20384750

About the Health in Aging Foundation

This research summary was developed as a public education tool by the Health in Aging Foundation. The Foundation is a national non-profit established in 1999 by the American Geriatrics Society to bring the knowledge and expertise of geriatrics healthcare professionals to the public. We are committed to ensuring that people are empowered to advocate for high-quality care by providing them with trustworthy information and reliable resources. Last year, we reached nearly 1 million people with our resources through HealthinAging.org. We also help nurture current and future geriatrics leaders by supporting opportunities to attend educational events and increase exposure to principles of excellence on caring for older adults. For more information or to support the Foundation's work, visit http://www.HealthinAgingFoundation.org.

About the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

Included in more than 9,000 library collections around the world, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society (JAGS) highlights emerging insights on principles of aging, approaches to older patients, geriatric syndromes, geriatric psychiatry, and geriatric diseases and disorders. First published in 1953, JAGS is now one of the oldest and most impactful publications on gerontology and geriatrics, according to ISI Journal Citation Reports®. Visit wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/JGS for more details.

About the American Geriatrics Society

Founded in 1942, the American Geriatrics Society (AGS) is a nationwide, not-for-profit society of geriatrics healthcare professionals that has--for more 75 years--worked to improve the health, independence, and quality of life of older people. Its nearly 6,000 members include geriatricians, geriatric nurses, social workers, family practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and internists. The Society provides leadership to healthcare professionals, policymakers, and the public by implementing and advocating for programs in patient care, research, professional and public education, and public policy. For more information, visit AmericanGeriatrics.org.



ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:

A link between childhood stress and early molars

2021-06-09
Early in her career neuroscientist Allyson Mackey began thinking about molars. As a researcher who studies brain development, she wanted to know whether when these teeth arrived might indicate early maturation in children. "I've long been concerned that if kids grow up too fast, their brains will mature too fast and will lose plasticity at an earlier age. Then they'll go into school and have trouble learning at the same rate as their peers," says Mackey, an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Penn. "Of course, not every kid who experiences stress or [is] low income will show this pattern of accelerated development." What would help, she thought, was a scalable, objective way—a physical manifestation, ...

Better-fitting face masks greatly improve COVID-19 protection

Better-fitting face masks greatly improve COVID-19 protection
2021-06-09
Even the best face masks work only as well as their fit. And poorly fitting face masks greatly increase the risk of infection from airborne pathogens compared to custom-fitted masks, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati. Researchers in UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science used computerized tomography or CT scans of three different-sized face masks attached to three different-sized dummy heads to measure the gaps between the face and the fabric. Then they calculated the leaks from these gaps to determine the infection risk.  They found that while N95 masks are effective barriers against airborne diseases like COVID-19, poorly ...

New adaptable nanoparticle platform enables enhanced delivery of gene therapies

New adaptable nanoparticle platform enables enhanced delivery of gene therapies
2021-06-09
Scientists have developed polypeptide-based materials that act as effective vectors for delivering gene therapies. The first-of-its-kind platform enables the vectors to be adapted to suit the specific gene therapy cargo. The work, led by researchers from RCSI University of Medicine and Health Sciences and funded by Science Foundation Ireland, is published in Biomaterials Science. A major challenge for gene therapies is preparing them in a way that can deliver the genetic information into the host cells. For the Covid-19 vaccines that use mRNA technology, the genetic information is delivered ...

Having trouble falling asleep predicts cognitive impairment in later life

2021-06-09
DARIEN, IL - A study of nearly 2,500 adults found that having trouble falling asleep, as compared to other patterns of insomnia, was the main insomnia symptom that predicted cognitive impairment 14 years later. Results show that having trouble falling asleep in 2002 was associated with cognitive impairment in 2016. Specifically, more frequent trouble falling asleep predicted poorer episodic memory, executive function, language, processing speed, and visuospatial performance. Further analysis found that associations between sleep initiation and later cognition were partially explained by both depressive symptoms and vascular ...

Persistent insomnia symptoms since childhood associated with mood, anxiety disorders

2021-06-09
DARIEN, IL - A 15-year longitudinal study shows that childhood insomnia symptoms that persist into adulthood are strong determinants of mood and anxiety disorders in young adults. Results show that insomnia symptoms persisting from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood were associated with a 2.8-fold increased risk of internalizing disorders. Insomnia symptoms that newly developed over the course of the study were associated with a 1.9-fold increased risk of internalizing disorders. No increased risk of internalizing disorders was found for those children in whom insomnia symptoms remitted during the study period. "We found that about ...

Measuring sound diversity of quietness

Measuring sound diversity of quietness
2021-06-09
MELVILLE, N.Y., June 9, 2021 -- The world is filled with myriad sounds that can overwhelm a person with relentless acoustics. Noise is so prevalent in everyday life that the concept and achievement of comfortable quiet is hard to define. During the 180th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, which will be held virtually June 8-10, Aggelos Tsaligopoulos, from the University of the Aegean, will describe how quiet could be measured in the hopes of better understanding its impact on people. The session, "Towards a new understanding of the concept of quietness," will take place Wednesday, ...

Australian researchers create quantum microscope that can see the impossible

Australian researchers create quantum microscope that can see the impossible
2021-06-09
In a major scientific leap, University of Queensland researchers have created a quantum microscope that can reveal biological structures that would otherwise be impossible to see. This paves the way for applications in biotechnology, and could extend far beyond this into areas ranging from navigation to medical imaging. The microscope is powered by the science of quantum entanglement, an effect Einstein described as "spooky interactions at a distance". Professor Warwick Bowen, from UQ's Quantum Optics Lab and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Engineered Quantum Systems (EQUS), said it was the first entanglement-based sensor with performance beyond the best possible existing technology. "This breakthrough will spark all sorts of new technologies - from better navigation ...

Assessing feasibility concerns in climate mitigation scenarios

2021-06-09
While the IPCC is in the midst of the drafting cycle of the Sixth Assessment Report, whose publication will start in the second half of 2021 - one of the most relevant events for the global climate change community, there is an ongoing debate on how to assess the feasibility of ambitious climate mitigation scenarios developed through integrated assessment models and to what extent they are actually achievable in the real world. In their new study published in Environmental Research Letters, researchers from the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment (EIEE) and IIASA developed a systematic ...

Are social, behavioral risk factors associated with mortality among us veterans with COVID-19?

2021-06-09
What The Study Did: An observational study of more than 27,000 veterans who received a positive test result for COVID-19 reports that risk factors such as housing problems, financial hardship, alcohol use, tobacco use and substance use weren't associated with higher mortality. Authors: J. Daniel Kelly, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of California, San Francisco, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2021.13031) Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please ...

Association of rideshare use with alcohol-associated motor vehicle crash trauma

2021-06-09
What The Study Did: This study looked at whether there was an association between rideshare use, motor vehicle crash traumas and impaired driving convictions in Houston, Texas, by comparing traumas and convictions before and after the introduction of Uber. Authors: Christopher R. Conner, M.D., Ph.D., of the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, is the corresponding author. To access the embargoed study: Visit our For The Media website at this link https://media.jamanetwork.com/ (doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2021.2227) Editor's Note: The article includes funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, ...

LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:

Blackologists and the Promise of Inclusive Sustainability

Robot-assisted surgery: Putting the reality in virtual reality

Novel interactions between proteins that help in recovering from brain injury

Common antibiotic found useful in accelerating recovery in tuberculosis patients

The 'Mozart effect' shown to reduce epileptic brain activity, new research reveals

Study examines heart and kidney outcomes of adults with nephrotic syndrome

Study examines symptoms before and after kidney transplantation

New research adds a wrinkle to our understanding of the origins of matter in the Milky Way

Stronger together: how protein filaments interact

New study uncovers details behind the body's response to stress

Carcinogen-exposed cells provide clues in fighting treatment-resistant cancers

Memory helps us evaluate situations on the fly, not just recall the past

Animals' ability to adapt their habitats key to survival amid climate change

Undiagnosed and untreated disease identified in rural South Africa

Study reveals new therapeutic target for C. difficile infection

New artificial heart shows promising results in 'auto-mode' -- initial clinical experience reported in ASAIO Journal

Picky neurons

Does cannabis affect brain development in young people with ADHD? Too soon to tell, reports Harvard Review of Psychiatry

Researchers find optimal way to pay off student loans

Use rewards effectively to boost creativity

Researchers find losartan is not effective in reducing hospitalization from mild COVID-19

Scientists detect signatures of life remotely

Team describes science-based hiccups intervention

Princeton-led team discovers unexpected quantum behavior in kagome lattice

Overcoming a newly recognized form of resistance to modern prostate cancer drugs

Will reduction in tau protein protect against Parkinson's and Lewy body dementias?

The end of Darwin's nightmare at Lake Victoria?

Study: Men doing more family caregiving could lower their risk of suicide

Researchers dig deeper into how cells transport their waste for recycling

Organic farming could feed Europe by 2050

[Press-News.org] Heart transplants: Age is no barrier to successful surgery
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society research summary