Research we're watching: Many heart transplant recipients survive 20 years

Research we're watching

Many heart transplant recipients survive 20 years

Published: March, 2014

For people with end-stage heart failure, a heart transplant is considered the "gold standard" treatment. A new study suggests that living for 15 to 20 years after a heart transplant is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

Researchers tracked the outcomes of 133 men and women who received a heart transplant at University Hospital Zurich in Switzerland from 1985 to 1991. Just over half (74 people) lived at least 20 years after the surgery. Among these long-term survivors, the average age at the time of surgery was 43.6.

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