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Blood transfusions shown to raise heart patients' risk.

Patients who receive blood transfusions during heart bypass surgery run a higher risk of developing potentially dangerous infections and dying following their operation, according to a new study. The researchers also say this increased risk may help solve a longstanding medical mystery: why women bypass patients are more likely than men to die in the first few months after surgery. Largely because the average age of women undergoing the surgery is older, and because they are more likely to have additional health problems than men, women are more likely to receive blood during bypass operations, which are performed on more than 465,000 Americans each year.

The findings, from the Patient Safety Enhancement Program at the University of Michigan Health System, are based on data from 9,218 Michigan bypass patients. After adjusting for factors such as the urgency of the operation, those who received blood transfusions from donors were five times more likely to die within 100 days of their operation than those who did not. (December 2006 American Heart Journal)

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Title Annotation:HEART BEAT
Publication:Heart Advisor
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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