Heart transplantation for patients over age 60

Jeffrey E. Everett, Ali R. Djalilian, Spencer H. Kubo, Timothy J. Kroshus, Sara J Shumway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As the proportion of people over age 60 in our society continues to rise, so does the number of potential heart transplant candidates. Advanced recipient age, however, has long been used as an exclusion criterion for transplantation, though the upper age limit remains poorly defined. The purpose of our study was to analyze the outcomes of 31 heart transplant recipients over age 60 at our institution. They were followed with regard to early and late morbidity and mortality. Mean follow-up time was 50 months. The 1- and 5-yr survival rates were 90% and 85%. These rates were not significantly different compared with younger (age 18 to 59) recipients transplanted in the same time period. The older recipients more frequently developed osteoporotic changes is well as cutaneous and visceral malignancies, but had infrequent rejection episodes. Overall, heart transplantation is safe and effective for patients over age 60 with end-stage congestive heart failure. Both 1- and 5-yr survival rates are well within the acceptable range and do not differ significantly from younger recipients. Individualized immunosuppression might help reduce the incidence of malignancy in older recipients, but further studies are needed. Matching donor and recipient age would make the best use of available organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-481
Number of pages4
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number6 I
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996


  • Elderly
  • Heart transplantation


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