I've expressed frustration before about the way patient age figures into the statistics, in this article and all the others -- only in broad tranches, like "under 60", 60-70, and >70. If you are ~35, it's very difficult to translate the "under 60" results into numbers that are directly relevant to your choices (e.g., mech vs. tissue). Some day, I hope the authors of these important and impressive studies get sufficiently "patient-friendly" to include a chart that answers the most obvious question of us patients.
Great info, as always, thanks for sharing. Yeah, I know what you mean about the patient groupings. I think of the few relevant studies I found pre-surgery, they were 18-50 or something like that. I'm actually a little surprised my valve manufacturer has made zero requests to keep any sort of data on my future health. I guess every study has certain protocols, but even if they don't want me for a study, shouldn't they at least want in-house data on every single valve that's implanted? If it were my business, I sure would.
By the way, in a Cleveland Clinic valve disease webchat today, in reply to a relevant question to this thread, the following was said by a Dr. Edward Soltesz:
"How do currently used tissue vavle replacements compare to
those used 20 years ago? Is any significant progress being made in
improving overall longevity? Any predictions (no gurarantees obviously)
for the future, based on current studies?
Dr__Soltesz: Yes there is significant improvement in the tissue valves
we presently use - mainly in the anticalcification treatment that we use
- this results in a presumed longer longevity of the valves.
Dr__Soltesz: We will not have the data for another 25 years - but it
appears very promising."
So, good news, bad news. Hard not to laugh a little at that one.