The role of estrogen, immune function and aging in heart transplant outcomes.
BACKGROUND: Aging and loss of estrogen suppress immune function, potentially improving survival after orthotopic heart transplant (OHT). The effect of female aging on OHT outcomes is unknown.
METHODS: Between 1995 and 2015, 41,299 adult OHT recipients (24.3% women) were studied using a retrospective multi-institutional cohort. Patients were stratified by age and gender into premenopausal (18-39 years), perimenopausal (40-49 years), and postmenopausal (≥50 years) groups. Kaplan-Meier survival analyses and risk-adjusted models examined gender differences across groups at one, five, and ten years.
RESULTS: Kaplan-Meier survival was equivalent for postmenopausal women and men, and lower for premenopausal women than men at all time points (p ≤ 0.05). Postmenopausal women had higher risk-adjusted five-year survival than premenopausal women (AOR 1.61, 95% CI 1.15-2.25, p = 0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: Premenopausal women have lower unadjusted survival than men after OHT. Post-menopausal women have significantly better five-year survival than pre-menopausal women. Menopause may contribute to improved survival after OHT.