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Current and former smokers at risk for recurrent hepatitis post-liver transplantation
Date:7/12/2012

Transplant recipients who smoke or have smoked increase their risk of viral hepatitis reinfection following liver transplantation according to new research available in the July issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Findings suggest that tobacco in cigarettes may adversely affect immune system response in patients transplanted for viral hepatitis.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use causes more than five million deaths per year worldwide, with estimates suggesting that annual mortality rates could climb to more than eight million by 2030. Previous research reports that nearly 34% of liver transplant recipients are active or former tobacco users. Moreover, medical evidence has shown that smoking increased biliary and vascular complications in the short-term, and elevated risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and sepsis-related mortality in the long-term among those receiving livers.

"Organs available for transplantation are scarce, with livers particularly in short supply," explains Dr. Mamatha Bhat from McGill University in Canada. "Transplant centers need to take an active role in identifying and minimizing risks to the success of liver transplantation." In the present study, researchers assessed the impact of smoking on incidence of complications, such as recurrent viral hepatitis, following liver transplantation.

Analysis of demographic characteristics and post-transplantation complications was performed on data from primary liver transplant recipients over a 14-year period. Using data from the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Liver Transplant database, the team identified 444 patients who received liver transplants between 1990 and 2004, of which 63 were repeat transplants. The mean age of liver recipients was 55 years and 66% were male with a mean body mass index (BMI) of 27.

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Contact: Dawn Peters
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley
Source:Eurekalert

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