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Older, sicker donors exacerbate organ shortage

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 21, 2013

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The number of livers going unused from people donating them after cardiac death rose 60% between 2004 and 2010, according to a study published in the January Liver Transplantation.

The proportion of donors whose livers could not be transplanted had previously declined from 66% of donors in 1988 to 15% in 2004, but that figure rose to 21% by 2010, said the study (link).

Researchers said donors who were older at the time of death, had diabetes or a higher body mass index were less likely to have their livers deemed healthy enough for transplantation. All these factors are increasingly prevalent and are likely to hamper the future supply of livers available for transplants.

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