Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Liver Transplants and Depression: What the Research Shows

Depression is fairly common in the world of liver transplantation. The blues often set in before surgery: An estimated 31 to 50 percent of patients awaiting transplant experience some degree of depression. Even after transplant surgery, with a healthy liver in place, some patients begin or continue to feel depressed. One year after transplant, Hep C-infected patients (like me) experience greater depression than non-Hep C patients (they also have a lower quality of life and less physical functioning than other transplant patients).

As I looked for information about liver transplants and depression, what surprised me most was the lack of information on this topic. Granted, I only can access the research, journals and reports available online to the average layman who doesn't subscribe to medical search engines. Nevertheless, given the prevalence of depression in patients, I expected to find info more readily accessible.

If you have information on this topic, please leave a comment. Information is power... and to people (like me!) who are feeling depressed and tired, it could be a wonderful antidote.

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