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| Liver Diseases
Hepatitis reinfection is more likely for liver transplant patients if they smoked
Updated: 2012-08-03 14:20:41 CST Category: Liver Diseases
Individuals who are worried about whether hepatitis is affecting them can undergo a liver panel test to assess the health of the organ. These people may include recovering transplant patients. Recently, a team of scientists from McGill University discovered that among liver transplant recipients, an individual is more likely to develop a hepatitis reinfection if he or she has a history of smoking.
This conclusion is based on a study of 444 patients who received a new liver between 1990 and 2004. The researchers tracked the health of these individuals for 14 years. About 23 percent of subjects were active or former smokers.
According to data analysis, the average amount of time it took hepatitis to reinfect the livers of nonsmokers was almost five years. For smokers, that figure was less than one year.
"Our findings suggest that recurrence of viral hepatitis may be more frequent among liver transplant recipients who are active or former smokers," said researcher Mamatha Bhat. "Encouraging preoperative smoking cessation may be beneficial in improving patient outcomes following transplantation."
The scientists speculated that smoking may hamper the immune system of patients who underwent a transplant because of hepatitis.
A liver panel test may help liver recipients monitor the health of their new organ.
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