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Medical News and Perspectives
August 9, 2006

Gender a Factor to Consider in Weighing Timing of Heart Transplant

JAMA. 2006;296(6):642-643. doi:10.1001/jama.296.6.642

A new study suggests that physicians should give more consideration to gender when deciding whether to recommend heart transplantation or mechanical ventricular assistance for patients with heart failure.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia said their study of 594 ambulatory heart failure patients found that women undergoing stress testing had lower peak exercise oxygen consumption (VO2) than did men, but women had better survival rates at all levels of exercise capacity. The difference is important because physicians currently use a single VO2 cutoff level as a key determinant when considering a patient for transplantation. The results, published in June in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, suggest that different cutoff levels based on gender may be appropriate when considering transplantation of scarce donor hearts (Elmariah S et al. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006;47:2237-2242).

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