Obese Unlikely to Get Heart Transplants

September 20, 2010 / by / 239 Comments

nm_obese_patient_100917_xwide

(ABC) Morbidly obese patients with advanced heart failure rarely lose enough weight to qualify for heart transplantation, making ventricular assist devices destination therapy for many of them, researchers said.

Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) provided adequate circulatory support as obese patients tried to qualify for heart transplants. The patients had a mean body mass index (BMI) of 39, which fell below that value in only a few cases during a year of follow-up, Dr. Jerry Estep reported here at the Heart Failure Society of America meeting.

Among patients who survived to one year, the mean BMI exceeded the baseline value.

Read this story onwww.medpagetoday.com.

“Providing obese patients with [circulatory] support did not lead to weight loss,” Estep, who practices at the Methodist Hospital in Houston told MedPage Today. “It’s pretty obvious that long-term strategies for weight loss are needed to help obese patients with advanced heart failure lose weight and qualify for transplants.”

Obesity increases the risk of heart failure and leads to worse outcomes after heart transplantation. As a result, many transplant centers have established a BMI cutoff of 35, said Estep. Patients whose BMI exceeds that level must lose sufficient weight to make the cutoff, even if they otherwise would qualify for transplantation.

Obese heart failure patients often receive LVADs during the period when they try to lose weight, but their impact on weight loss had not been studied extensively, and Estep and colleagues sought to fill some of the data gap.

Their review showed that 13 of 108 LVAD implantations over a six-year period involved morbidly obese patients (BMI =35). Of those 13 — whose BMI averaged 38.8 — eight received devices that provided continuous support and five got devices that provided pulsatile support. All 13 had New York Heart Association (NYHA) class IV heart failure at implantation.

The LVADs achieved the desired circulatory support, as the patients’ mean functional class improved to NYHA class II at six months.

READ MORE


About the Author

The Urban Newsroom is the world’s newest source of viral news, providing current news, opinions, entertainment and blogs for and from today’s urban generation. Providing proven and validated stories from across the United States and from the world, UNR is a proud content provider of current stories, detailed reports on national headlines and a leading provider of late breaking stories, with great detail.

Comments are closed.