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Four-year survival of transfusion recipients identified by hepatitis C lookback

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BACKGROUND: Information on the probability of survival of transfused patients is needed for policy making, but there is a paucity of empirical research into this question. A Swedish population-based study reported that the 40-month posttransfusion probability of survival was 51 percent in all patients and 41 percent in recipients of more than 10 units of blood and blood components. These figures were 20 percent lower than the figures reported previously from Olmsted County, Minnesota.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: Information was collected on the 4-year survival of 695 patients transfused at the New York University Medical Center between 1988 and 1996. These patients had been identified previously by hepatitis C lookback.

RESULTS: Seventy-five percent of patients survived at 1 month after transfusion, 66 percent at 3 months, 60 percent at 6 months, 54 percent at 1 year, 50 percent at 2 years, 45 percent at 3 years, and 41 percent at 4 years. Seventy-eight percent of patients included in the study had received more than 10 units of blood and blood components. The 4-year survival of patients receiving 1 to 3, 4 to 10, or more than 10 units was 62 percent, 48 percent, and 38 percent, respectively (p < 0.0001).

CONCLUSIONS: When transfusion dose is taken into account, the probability of survival of patients transfused at the New York University Medical Center in 1988 to 1996 and identified by lookback is similar to that reported for Swedish county residents transfused in 1993. Based on both the Swedish data and the information presented here and in the absence of any recent results from population-based studies, the survival of U.S. patients transfused in the 1990s appears to be 20 percent lower than that of Olmsted County residents transfused in 1981.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: From the Blood Bank and Transfusion Service, New York University Medical Center, Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York.

Publication date: 01 June 2002

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