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Does using meth, smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol and taking heavy doses of pain killers have a greater effect on a transplanted heart than one that isn't transplanted? What is the life expectancy of someone with a transplant that is abusing it?

By Anonymous April 13, 2010 - 3:17pm
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I know someone who abused meth that had to get a heart transplant because of it and the person is abusing it again. This person was also an alcoholic who had been to rehab and relapsed, a heavy smoker and just abused their body. Since the transplant this person has gone back to all of their old habits and I'm concerned with what kind of an effect it will have on the new heart.

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

Anon - If the person you're concerned about is engaging in the same behaviors that created the need for a heart transplant, they are in even greater danger of heart failure or heart problems than they were before due to the impact of the transplant. It's impossible to give an exact life expectancy for this person, but the behavior is clearly putting them at risk. Heart recipients are given standards to follow which reduce the risk of rejection of the donor heart and help restore their health. In general, about 81% of all people who receive heart transplants survive for at least 1 year. In terms of long-term survival, about 68% survive 5 years and about 50% survive 10 years, according to WebMD.

Is this a relative or close friend? Is there anything you can do to make them aware they are essentially killing themselves? You may want to get the support of experts from a group like the American Heart Association to assist you. Can you let us know what you plan to do?
Take care, Pat

April 13, 2010 - 5:28pm
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