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February 12, 1988

As for Heart Transplants...

JAMA. 1988;259(6):786. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720060002002

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AS ARTIFICIAL HEART studies continue, the number of human hearts transplanted each year is increasing. There are predictions that, when the worldwide total for the past year is tallied, it will exceed 4000 (JAMA 1987;258:3084-3085).

The American Heart Association says 1024 human heart transplants were performed in the United States alone in 1986, the latest year for which complete data are available. That total, the association says, is about three times greater than the US total for 1984.

At a seminar in New Orleans, association officials estimated that cardiovascular diseases' societal bill will be $83.7 billion this year in medical services and lost productivity. They note also that, despite recent declines in the mortality rate attributable to heart and blood vessel diseases, cardiovascular disorders still cause a death in this country on an average of every 32 seconds.

And, the association staff says, cardiovascular diseases are blamed for 991 282