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Smokers Lungs Offer Survival Advantage

Wed, 05/30/2012 - 7:26am
Kim Carollo

Patients who underwent lung transplants lived an additional three years compared with patients who never received donor organs, even if the lungs they received came from people who had previously smoked, according to a new British study published in the Lancet.

Researchers led by Dr. Robert Bonser of University Hospital Birmingham analyzed how donor smoking history affected three-year survival using patients on the U.K. Transplant Registry between 1999 and 2010.

About 39 percent of the 1,295 lung transplants used lungs from donors who’d previously smoked. While the three-year survival rate for these transplant recipients was lower than for people who received lungs from nonsmokers and had more complications, survival was still better than for people who’d never had transplants at all.

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