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Studies Investigate New Methodologies to Improve Recovery and Survival Strategies for Patients Undergoing Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation
Date:12/10/2011

0;Transplant Survivor Study, the largest of its kind to date. Survivors and their siblings were evaluated for the presence of any chronic conditions, which were given a severity score from 1 (mild) to 5 (death due to condition), as well as any psychological conditions, including somatic distress, anxiety, and depression. The current status of health-care utilization by survivors, an estimated figure accounting for frequency of visits to doctors, hospitalizations, and other factors, was also evaluated.

Results from the analysis revealed that nearly three-fourths (74%) of HCT survivors reported at least one chronic health condition over the 15-year follow-up period, compared with 29 percent of siblings. Additionally, one-fourth of survivors reported severe or life-threatening conditions compared to only 8 percent of siblings. Commonly reported severe or life-threatening chronic health conditions included heart attack, stroke, blindness, diabetes, musculoskeletal problems, and subsequent cancers. The 15-year cumulative incidence of any chronic health conditions in survivors was 71 percent, while the incidence of particularly severe or life-threatening conditions or death was 40 percent. Investigators also found that HCT survivors were nearly six times more likely than their age- and sex-matched siblings to develop a severe or life-threatening condition.

While prevalence of anxiety and depression were comparable between the two groups, HCT survivors were nearly three times more likely than their siblings to report somatic distress. Approximately 90 percent of HCT survivors reported having health insurance; a high proportion needed ongoing specialized medical care. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of survivors reported a cancer- or HCT-related visit to a specialist at an average of 15 years after transplant.

"The long-term physical and psychological burden of HCT on survivors is substantial, resulting in high usage of specialized health care amon
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SOURCE American Society of Hematology
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