Study examines health of kidney donors

The short-term risks associated with kidney donation are relatively modest, but because many donors have additional medical conditions, it is important to evaluate their ongoing health. That's the conclusion of a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).

In more than a third of kidney transplantations performed in the United States, the transplanted organs come from live donors. Research suggests that there are minimal for donors, but only a few comprehensive studies have looked at this issue.

To evaluate trends in the illnesses and complications experienced by donors, Jesse Schold, PhD (Cleveland Clinic) and his colleagues studied the health of more than 69,000 donors from 1998 to 2010, representing 89% of US donors from that time.

Among the major findings:

  • Complications declined over time, from 10.1% in 1998 to 7.6% in 2010.
  • Hospital length-of-stay following donation declined over time, from an average of 3.7 days in 1998 to 2.5 days in 2010.
  • Rates of complications and length-of-stay for donors were comparable with other relatively low risk abdominal surgeries such as appendectomies.
  • Depression, , , and obesity increased over time.

"We were able to characterize certain patient characteristics and outcomes that are not available from standard transplant registries," said Dr. Schold. "The data provide important information about the incidence and impact of pre-existing comorbidities among living donors that are not broadly known."

The authors noted that while their data confirm that short-term risks associated with donation are relatively modest, the long-term impact of complications and additional may be important to evaluate in the coming years.

In an accompanying editorial, Krista Lentine, MD, PhD (Saint Louis University School of Medicine) and Dorry Segev, MD (Johns Hopkins University) stated that "this study provides valuable information that, when framed in the context of its limitations, can be used to advance the counseling and informed consent of living donors; centers can also use this information to guide their own quality assessment and process improvement benchmarking for outcomes." They noted that additional studies are needed, however. "Ultimately, by improving understanding of the short- and long-term health outcomes among representative, diverse samples of , the transplant community can meaningfully improve the processes of consent, selection, and care that are vital priorities," they wrote.

More information: The article, entitled "Comorbidity Burden and Perioperative Complications for Living Kidney Donors in the United States," will appear online on September 26, 2013, DOI: 10.2215/CJN12311212

The editorial, entitled "Better Understanding Live Donor Risk through Big Data," will appear online on September 26, 2013, DOI: 10.2215/CJN.08530813

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Never too old to donate a kidney?

Oct 28, 2011

People over age 70 years of age can safely donate a kidney, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology (CJASN). The results provide good news for patients ...

QoL up for live liver donors versus general population

Nov 06, 2012

(HealthDay)—Living liver donors from Japan have higher health-related quality of life (HRQOL) than the Japanese norm population, according to a study published in the November issue of Liver Transplantation.

HTN risk up for african-american live kidney donors

Nov 06, 2012

(HealthDay)—African-American live kidney donors have a significantly increased risk of hypertension compared with non-donors, according to a study published online Oct. 24 in the American Journal of Tr ...

Recommended for you

New approach to particle therapy dosimetry

Dec 19, 2014

Researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in collaboration with EMRP partners, are working towards a universal approach to particle beam therapy dosimetry.

Supplement maker admits lying about ingredients

Dec 17, 2014

Federal prosecutors say the owner and president of a dietary supplement company has admitted his role in the sale of diluted and adulterated dietary ingredients and supplements sold by his company.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.