Biology Question #3841

Heather Purdie, a 7 year old female from Edinburgh asks on April 18, 2007,

At what age does your heart stop growing? I have just watched a program and a young girl was given her dad's heart and I wondered if it would always fit?

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The answer

Glen Tibbits, Simon Fraser University professor of Kinesiology answered on April 19, 2007

The answer is a little complicated.

"Normal" growth of the heart usually stops in your teens but the heart can get bigger later in life due to diseases such as high blood pressure. It is also believed that when children have a heart transplant with another child's heart that the new heart will grow. I don't know of studies in which a child receives a heart from an adult donor but my guess is it would grow less.

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