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From Scarsdale, New York, USA:

I was distressed to learn in the New York Times this past weekend (4/13/97) that people with diabetes aren't considered well enough for heart transplants. In these days of managed care, what other forms of discrimination is my son likely to encounter?


Patients with diabetes and heart disease may be candidates for heart transplants. It's just that the transplant centers are careful in selecting patients for this procedure, and in the past, they tended to be very leery of transplanting hearts into diabetes patients.

I have a diabetic patient in my practice who received his heart transplant (for a disease called idiopathic myocardiopathy) at age 36 about 5 years ago. He was the first patient with diabetes to have a heart transplant in our city; we had to do zillions of tests to assure the transplant team that his general health (and diabetes status) was okay for the major operation. By the way, he's doing fine the last time I spoke to him.


Original posting 17 Apr 97


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