Professor James Neuberger and colleagues from England assessed the life expectancy and years of life lost of 2702 people who received liver transplants.
The research team assessed patients between 1985 and 2003, who had survived more than 6 months after the liver transplant.
The team evaluated data from the National Transplant Database, held by UK Transplant, compared with that from healthy people matched for age and sex.
The researchers showed that, on average, after reaching the critical 6 month period, survival time for liver transplant recipients was 22 years vs 29 years for the general population.
The team found that the life expectancy of male liver transplant recipients was 18 years compared with 26 years for women.
| Life expectancy was 27 years for men and 31 years for women|
Life expectancy was 27 years for men and 31 years for women in the general population.
The researchers noted that twice as many years of life lost for male transplant recipients compared with their female counterparts.
Those aged between 17 and 34 had the highest life expectancy of 28 years after a liver transplant.
However, the life expectancy was 51 years in the general population.
The researchers noted that transplant recipients with primary liver disease fared significantly better than those undergoing the procedure because of Hepatitis C infection, cirrhosis, or cancer.
Professor Neuberger concludes, “While 1 year survival rates have increased over time, death rates beyond this period have remained more or less the same.”
“This can be attributed to the types of patients undergoing the procedure, who now include older, sicker patients, as well as the use of more ‘marginal' livers.”