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Age May Affect Outcomes in Lung Transplant Recipients With Cystic Fibrosis

Age may influence outcomes in lung transplant recipients with cystic fibrosis (CF), according to study results published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Lung transplant is the only effective treatment option for end-stage lung disease for patients with CF, and this population has superior posttransplant survival rates compared with other pulmonary conditions. However, according to the study authors, studies have suggested that an age-related disparity exists in patients with CF. Therefore, researchers investigated the effect of age at transplant on posttransplant outcomes in adult patients with CF.

A total of 3881 patients with CF underwent lung transplantation between 1992 and 2016, with a mean age of 31 years.1 The first cohort included 2002 patients aged 18 to 29 years, while the second cohort included 1879 patients aged ≥30 years. Through a survival analysis, the researchers found a significantly higher survival rate in patients in the older cohort (9.47 years) compared with the younger cohort (5.21 years).

Even after adjusting for cofounders, the survival rate remained higher in the older cohort. While mortality as a result of allograft failure was significantly lower in the older cohort (28% vs 36.5% in the younger group), the incidence of malignancy was higher in older patients (8% vs 2.9%, respectively).

The study findings suggest that age-related disparities exist in lung transplant outcomes in adult patients with CF. However, the researchers noted, future studies are necessary to better understand the factors affecting age-related outcome variation.


Sethi J, Bugajski A, Patel KN, et al. Recipient age impacts long-term survival in adult cystic fibrosis subjects after lung transplantation. Ann Am Thorac Soc. Published online August 14, 2020. doi:10.1513/AnnalsATS.201908-637OC

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