People who receive lung transplants are at a higher risk of rejecting the new organ, and of dying if they live in areas that have more air pollutants than if they lived away from busy roads. The World Health Organization released data stating that people who live in places with higher air pollution were ten percent more likely to reject an organ after a lung transplant than people who lived in areas with a better quality of air.

The Study on Organ Transplant

Researchers recently conducted a study on five thousand patients who had undergone lung transplants. The time period for the study was between 1987 and 2013. The data collected in the study on the patients and their living environments was used to determine that the lung transplant patients who lived in high pollution areas were more likely to have difficulties with their transplants or die from complications after their surgery.

Antibiotic Therapy may decrease the Chances of a patient Dying or Rejecting their Organ

The data collected during the study showed that patients who were prescribed certain antibiotics were less likely to experience organ rejection or complications leading to death after their surgeries.

These antibiotics included:

  • Azithromycin commonly known as Zithromax
  • Clarithromycin commonly known as Blaxin

The Study results

During the time of the study, forty-seven percent of the patients who had undergone the organ transplant rejected their new lungs.

Forty-five percent of the patients who had the lung transplants and participated in the study died during the period of time the study was in progress.

At some time during the study, sixty-two percent of the patients required macrolides which are given when the patient experiences a great deal of inflammations, or they are at risk of organ rejection.

Of the patients who had to take macrolides thirty percent died.  Surprisingly the research data showed that fifty four percent of the patients who were not prescribed macrolides died during the six years the study was being done.

The research specialist surmised that since the patients who took macrolides seemed to have a lower risk of death that these drugs help to protect the transplant patients from further surgical complications, especially complications that were a direct result of exposure to air pollutants.

What this means

If air pollution were reduced to lower levels more people who have lung transplants, and other lung related problems would be at a lower risk of premature death.

Doctors who work with patients who have lung transplants can alert their patients to the fact that living in areas with large amounts of air pollution might lower their lives expectancy. Doctors can also use the antibiotics that have been proven to help lower the risk of complication or death in lung transplant patients so to help further ensure that these transplants patients will become transplant survivors.

Every patient and every person can do their part to reduce lung damaging smog and