Is there an age limit for cardiac transplant recipients?


The age limit for consideration of a cardiac transplant is somewhat controversial. The International Association of Heart and Lung Transplantation now recommends 70 years of age as the upper age limit for heart transplants under most circumstances. Survival rates of individuals over age 65 compared to those between ages 55 and 64 are comparable, but the older recipients had more hospital stays and infections during the first year. They also had a lower incidence of returning to full functioning after the heart transplant. Another consideration is that older individuals are more likely to have other health problems that may limit their lifespan or ability to recover.

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Heart Transplant

Diseased hearts can be replaced during a heart transplant, a measure taken to help save a persons life after other treatments have failed.If you have end-stage heart failure, which has severely weakened or damaged your heart, you ...

most likely will need a heart transplant. However, because so few hearts are available, you must be sick enough to need a new heart but healthy enough to survive the surgery. In the U.S., only about 2,000 hearts are available each year, while there are 3,000 people waiting for a new heart. While you wait for a new heart, your doctor may insert a ventricular assist device (VAD) to help your heart continue to function. Once you have the transplant, you will need to take medications to suppress your immune system, so it doesnt attack your new heart. A team of doctors will monitor if your body accepts the new heart. The team will also look out for any infections that you may develop because of a suppressed immune system.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.