Recently a study stated that the heart transplant recipients who resided in regions where particulate matter (PM 2.5) air pollution levels were over national limits for fresh air reported about 26% higher perils of mortality due to infection. Every year, more than 2,000 heart transplantations are done in the U.S. In spite of the medical advancements, post-transplantation deaths are high—reaching 50% by 11 Years after surgery. The air pollution has been associated with increased cardiovascular deaths in patients having heart disease or a medical history of heart failure. Heart transplant recipients are more susceptible to air pollution exposure. The study was published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
The study incorporated data from 21,800 patients from the UNOS/OPTN (United Network for Organ Sharing/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network). All adults more than 18 Years of age who underwent heart transplantation during 2004–2015 were analyzed. The study revealed the heart transplant recipients who had long-duration exposure to air pollution in several years had almost 26% increased peril for mortality owing to infection for every 10 μg/m3 surge in PM 2.5 levels. Subsequent to a follow-up for 4.8 Years, 23.9% of patients died. The link between mortality and air pollution was constant in all examined subgroups.
On a similar note, in a study of the new heart organ allocation system for transplantation recipients in the U.S., scientists have identified a signal of a reduction in the survival rates of a heart transplant. The study was published in the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation. In over a decade, the modifications were made for the first time in the U.S. donor heart allocation system in October 2018, focused on better identifying the most medically critical heart transplant candidates. This new system was visualized to facilitate fairer organ allocation whilst providing an overall benefit to people waiting for heart transplantation.