BACKGROUND: Currently, women represent <25% of heart transplant recipients. Reasons for this female underrepresentation have been attributed to selection and referral bias and potentially poorer outcomes in female recipients. The aim of this study was to compare long-term posttransplant survival between men and women, when matched for recipient and donor characteristics.METHODS AND RESULTS: Using the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation Registry, we performed descriptive analyses and estimated overall freedom from posttransplant death stratified by sex using Kaplan-Meier survival methods. Male and female recipients were matched according to the Index for Mortality Prediction After Cardiac Transplantation and Donor Risk Index score using 1:1 propensity score matching. The study cohort comprised 34198 heart transplant recipients (76.3% men, 23.7% women) between 2004 and 2014. Compared with men, women were more likely younger (51 [39-59] versus 55 [46-61] years; P<0.001) and had a different distribution of heart failure etiology (P<0.001). In general, the prevalence of comorbidities was lower in women than in men. Women were less likely to have diabetes mellitus (19.1% versus 26.2%; P<0.001), hypertension (40.7% versus 47.9%; P<0.001), peripheral vascular disease (2.4% versus 3.3%; P=0.002), tobacco use (36.5% versus 52.3%; P<0.001), and prior cardiovascular surgery (38.6% versus 50.7%; P<0.001). Women were more likely to have a history of malignancy (10.5% versus 5.3%; P<0.001), require intravenous inotropes (41.4% versus 37.2%; P<0.001), and were less likely supported by an intra-aortic balloon pump (3.3% versus 3.8%; P=0.03) or durable ventricular assist device (22% versus 31.5%; P<0.001). Transplanted male recipients had a higher Index for Mortality Prediction After Cardiac Transplantation score (5 [2-7] versus 4 [1-6]; P<0.001). When male and female heart transplant recipients were matched for recipient and donor characteristics, there was no significant survival difference (P=0.57).CONCLUSIONS: Overall survival does not differ between men and women after cardiac transplantation. Women who survive to heart transplantation appear to have lower risk features than male recipients but receive hearts from higher risk donors.
View details for DOI 10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.119.006218
View details for PubMedID 31597452