Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Craig Beam

Second Advisor

Nicholas Andreadis


Heart transplantation is very traumatic for the human body. It involves physically taking out an organ that is vital for normal function and replacing it with an organ that is foreign to the body. However, it is sometimes thought that this is a very well known and well-researched procedure, when the reality is that the very first heart transplant took place less than 50 years ago by Dr. Christiaan Banard (Brink & Hassoulas, 2009). During the last 50 years many breakthroughs have been discovered and the procedure has been vastly helped by the rise of immunosuppressant’s and new surgical technology, but there are still many unknown variables. Along with the field of heart transplantation being relatively new, it is also growing at a very high rate. In 2014, 2,679 heart transplants were performed which is a 28.4% increase from 2003(OPTN/SRTR 2014 Annual Data Report. HHS/HRSA, 2014). With such a large volume of cases emerging the Health and Resources and Service Administration saw the need of a national transplant registry—The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR)— the emergence of this registry has greatly encouraged research into various transplants especially regarding the informatics of transplant medicine. This registry was founded in 1987 to help clinicians and researches evaluate the results of solid organ transplantation. Much care still must be taken by medical professionals to ensure that this seemingly troubling procedure can sustain and improve life quality. However, with any surgical procedure especially one that has such profound effects on the body, the variables associated with the procedure must be well studied in order to maximize success. One variable that is incredibly important to body function and especially recovery after such an invasive procedure is the age of the patient that is receiving a transplant. The age of such a patient can speak to their health, their psychological outlook on the procedure, their physiological response to a foreign object into their bodies, and whole host of other possibilities (OPTN/SRTR 2014 Annual Data Report. HHS/HRSA, 2014). There has been little research on the affect and role of age on the survivability of heart transplant patients and their long-term survivability. The annual data report that was released by the SRTR in 2014 pointed to a gap in the research as to the role age has on long-term survivability in heart transplant patients (OPTN/SRTR 2014 Annual Data Report. HHS/HRSA, 2014). The purpose of this study was to analyze the 2014 heart transplant data and gain a deeper understanding of how age of a heart transplant recipient affects the survival rate after 60 months.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access

Included in

Cardiology Commons