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Lung Transplant Wait Causes Anxious Time

Depression may be almost as damaging as the condition itself

MONDAY, May 20, 2002 (HealthDayNews) -- While there's little doubt that anticipating a lung transplant can cause emotional distress all on its own, how the professionals deal with it may affect the operation's outcome significantly.

Americans who need a lung transplant wait an average of 18 months from the time they're put on the transplant list.

The anxiety of not knowing when you'll get the transplant or whether the operation will work can cause depression, scientitsts say. Those negative effects are in addition to other problems caused by such factors as lung function and the underlying disease, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center in Atlanta.

The Duke researchers conducted a study that involved 99 patients waiting for a lung transplant who were given tests to measure their depression and anxiety. They also got questionnaires about life quality and perceived shortness of breath.

The findings were to be presented today at the American Thoracic Society's meeting in Atlanta.

Americans who need a lung transplant wait an average of 18 months from the time they're put on the transplant list.

More information

This article from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons gives a detailed recounting of the effectiveness of lung transplantion done by its doctors during the past eight years.

SOURCE: News release, May 20, 2002, Duke University Medical Center
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