Women more likely to die on liver transplant wait list than men, study shows

Women are nearly 9 percent more likely to die while waiting for a liver transplant than men, a new study shows.

The study, published in JAMA Surgery, examined data from adult liver transplant listings reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network from June 18, 2013, through March 1, 2018. Of 81,357 adults wait-listed for a liver transplant, 36.1 percent were women and 63.9 percent were men.

Researchers found that women were 8.6 percent more likely to die while on the waiting list compared to men. Women were also 14.4 percent less likely to receive a transplant using a liver from a deceased donor.

Study findings indicate that the model for end-stage liver disease, developed to be an unbiased measure of disease severity, may be "biased against women," said Jayme Locke, MD, lead study author and director of University of Alabama at Birmingham's Comprehensive Transplant Institute.

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