While getting a lung from a smoker was better than not receiving one at all, it still was not as beneficial as receiving a lung from a non-smoker. The three-year survival rate for recipients of lungs transplanted from smokers was lower than for recipients of lungs from non-smokers, ABC News reports. Recipients of smokers’ lungs also had more complications. The study included 1,295 lung transplant recipients, 39 percent of whom received lungs from people who had previously smoked.
The findings support a policy of transplanting lungs from people who have smoked, the researchers said. “Donors with positive smoking histories provide nearly 40 percent of the lungs available for transplantation,” they wrote in The Lancet. “Rejection of this donor-organ resource would increase waiting-list mortality and is ill advised.”
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