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No long-term health issues for kidney donors|
Donors live normal lifespan, are just as healthy as others, new study finds
Jan. 28, 2009
NEW YORK - Donating a kidney doesn’t appear to have any long-term health consequences for the donor, a reassuring study shows.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota found those who gave up one of their two kidneys lived a normal life span and were as healthy as people in the general population. The donation also didn’t raise the risk of having kidney failure later.
Kidney donation has generally been considered safe, although with surgery, there are always risks. The new research of nearly 3,700 donors dating back more than four decades is the largest and longest study to look at long-term outcomes, said the researchers. They reported their findings in Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.
“It is a confirmation that living donation is a safe thing,” said Dr. Matthew Cooper, a transplant surgeon at the University of Maryland, who was not involved in the research.
Kidneys filter waste and excess fluid from the blood. If your kidneys fail, the options are dialysis or a transplant. More than 78,000 people are on the national waiting list to receive a kidney from a deceased donor. The need for kidneys has soared with the rise in diabetes and obesity and the wait can last for years.
Donations on the rise
Living donation has increased as more people became willing to donate and newer surgery techniques shortened recovery time. In 2007, more than a third of the 16,629 kidneys transplanted in the U.S. came from living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
Dr. Hassan Ibrahim, the study’s leader, and his colleagues wanted to find out what happened to the 3,698 people who had donated a kidney at the university since 1963. They tried to contact everyone and used government records to find out who had died. A group of 255 donors was randomly selected to have kidney and other tests. Results were compared with health outcomes for the general population.
Overall, 268 of the donors died, which the researchers said was comparable to survival in the general population. Eleven donors developed kidney failure decades later and needed dialysis or a transplant. The researchers said the rate of kidney failure in the donors was lower than that reported in the general population.
Most of the donors tested had good kidney function and reported an excellent quality of life, the study found.
NASH: This is truly GREAT news, but not surprising. I've researched the heck out of this issue. That's why I feel so comfortable to do it. Surely one of you knows someone who knows someone who can help me get my kidney to a soldier. 2009 is the year that my kidney will be transplanted. Since China is my home, I'd like for a Chinese to have it. However, if need be, I will travel overseas and donate it elsewhere. That would be a pity as that will mean that a Chinese person will die. Please HELP.
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