Ten years of "extended" life: quality of life among heart transplantation survivors.

Pierluigi Politi, Marco Piccinelli, Paolo Fusar Poli, Catherine Klersy, Carlo Campana, Claudio Goggi, Mario Viganò, Francesco Barale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Long-term quality of life (QOL) outcome in heart transplant recipients still remains uncertain. This study evaluates the health status and QOL of survivors with associated predictors 10 years after heart transplantation. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 276 patients who underwent heart transplantation in the Department of Cardiac Surgery, University of Pavia, between 1985 and 1992 were included in a cross-sectional study. Patients still alive 10 years after transplantation (n=122) were asked to complete the SF36 questionnaire and then received a full clinical examination. All QOL instruments that were used had acceptable reliability and validity. Descriptive statistics, Kaplan-Meier estimate, correlation coefficients, and general linear regression were used to analyze the data. RESULTS: Survival rates 1, 5, and 10 years after transplantation were 87%, 77%, and 57%, respectively, and the average life expectancy was 9.16 years. The mental QOL of patients 10 years after heart transplantation was similar to that among the general population. The physical QOL was worse among patients when compared with the QOL of the general population, with predictors including older age, being married, the presence of complications, and impaired renal function. CONCLUSIONS: Heart transplantation ensures a relatively high QOL even 10 years after surgery. Predictors of a poor QOL were determined, which may help to identify those patients for whom a poor outcome is likely so treatment can be tailored accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)257-263
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 27 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology

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