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Life expectancy of adult liver allograft recipients in the UK


Background: Liver transplantation is a very successful therapy for those with end stage disease. Although there are numerous data on patient and graft survival after liver transplantation, life expectancy and possible loss of life (compared with a normal matched population) in those who survive remains unknown.

Aims: To assess the life expectancy and life years lost of adult liver allograft recipients, compared with an age and sex matched UK population to provide patients with more information and to improve the use of a scarce resource.

Methods: Using the National Transplant Database held by UK Transplant, on over 3600 adult liver allograft recipients transplanted between 1985 and 2003, we analysed survival of all adults who survived more than six months after transplantation and compared survival after transplantation with national age and sex matched controls to assess life years lost.

Results: Estimated median survival time of the analysis cohort of 2702 adult liver allograft recipients was 22.2 years (95% confidence interval 19.3–25.6), with an estimated loss of seven life years compared with an age and sex matched population.

Conclusions: Overall, female recipients have a longer life expectancy and lose fewer life years than male recipients. While younger recipients have a longer life expectancy, they also lose more life years. Those transplanted for cancer, hepatitis C virus infection, and alcoholic liver disease had the greatest loss of life years.

  • AFT, accelerated failure time
  • ALD, alcoholic liver disease
  • HCV, hepatitis C virus
  • HBV, hepatitis B virus
  • PBC, primary biliary cirrhosis
  • liver transplant
  • survival gain
  • outcome

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