Frequent health status updates may help more patients waiting for lung transplants

An image of lungs is shown against a medical backdrop.

As people with advanced lung disease experience progressions with their condition, they could face increased risks for severe outcomes – including death. This is why researchers are studying ways to reflect changes with their health so that those in greatest need of receiving a lung transplant could move to the top of the waiting list. Currently, adults waiting for lung transplants have their health status updated every six months or as they experience a change in their condition. Researchers found that monthly instead of six-month updates could potentially reclassify 11.5% of high-risk patients. 

“This research advances us towards development of a more comprehensive prediction model for risk of mortality among lung transplant candidates that could help guide decisions about patients who are in greater need for lung transplant and increase their odds for survival,” said James P. Kiley, Ph.D., director of the Division of Lung Diseases at NHLBI. 

The study, which was supported by NHLBI, published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.