Organ Transplants Could Provide Two Million Extra Years of Life, Researchers Say

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targovcom/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Organ transplants in the United States may lead to as many as two million extra years of life, researchers say.

Looking at data since the FDA first approved solid-organ transplants in 1983, researchers say they determined the survival benefit of organ transplants by comparing patients on the transplant list who received a transplant to those who did not receive a transplant over a 25-year span. During that time frame, kidney transplants were most common, followed by liver, heart, lung, pancreas and intestine transplants.

Researchers attributed 1.4 million life-years saved to kidney transplants. In their measurements, they determined that kidney, pancreas-kidney, liver and heart transplants give recipients an extra four to five years of life. Comparatively, lung, pancreas and intestine transplants provided patients with two to three more life-years.

Overall, all transplant recipients lived significantly longer than those who did not receive a transplant, researchers say.

The researchers did note that transplant recipients are intentionally selected to prioritize those who could benefit the most from available organs. They say they attempted to account for that statistical bias with their analyses.


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