Heart Transplant Statistics

by Jodee on April 5, 2010

A heart transplant is not usually the first treatment that a doctor suggests for his or her patient, but in certain situations replacing a damaged or diseased organ with a healthy donor heart can be a life-saving solution. In cases where a patient’s heart has been damaged due to one of the following, it may be a viable option:

  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Heart Disease
  • Heart Failure
  • Multiple Heart Attacks

Before a heart transplant is considered as a treatment option, doctors will make sure that other forms of treatment, including medications or less invasive surgical procedures have been considered first.

Heart Transplants by the Numbers

According to the American Heart Association, 2,163 heart transplants were performed in the United States in 2008.cardiovascular event graphic

In 2007, the numbers for heart transplants in the U.S. was slightly higher, with 2,210 patients receiving new hearts that year.

Most heart transplant patients are males (72.4 percent). Approximately two-thirds of donor heart recipients are Caucasian, and 54.2 percent are aged 50 or older.

Heart transplants aren’t just for middle-aged men, though: 19.4 percent of heart transplant patients are between the ages of 35-49.

Survival Rates for Heart Transplant Recipients

Having a heart transplant does prolong a patient’s life. The survival rate at the 12-month mark is 88 percent for men and 77.2 percent for women. At the five-year mark, the survival rate for males is 73.1 percent for males and 67.4 percent for females.

The reason more heart transplants are not performed is due to a shortage of healthy donor organs. If more people made the choice to consent to becoming an organ donor and discussed their wishes with their family members, thousands more lives could potentially be saved each year.

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