Current or former cigarette smokers who undergo a liver transplant for complications due to hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are more likely to experience recurrent disease following surgery, according to a paper published in the July issue of Liver Transplantation. The research, which documented the effects of smoking after liver transplantation over a 14-year period at McGill University Health Center in Montreal, found that the average viral hepatitis-free survival time was less than a year among smokers, compared with more than four years among non-smokers. “Our study in particular has demonstrated that recurrent viral hepatitis is more frequent among transplant recipients who are either active or former smokers at the time of transplantation,” Mamatha Bhat, MD, and his McGill colleagues write. “These findings indicate the need to identify these patients at the first transplant assessment and to strongly encourage smoking cessation through enrollment in a cessation program.”

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