Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
It appears that kidney donors have survival rates similar to that of the general population-that is, their life span does not seem to be altered or negatively impacted after donation, according to new research out of the University of Minnesota Medical School. In addition, donors' risk for developing kidney failure, high blood pressure, diabetes and/or cancer is very similar to someone their age, gender and ethnicity who is not a donor. The study, published in the most recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, examined the long-term outcomes of nearly 3,700 people who donated a kidney at the University of Minnesota dating back to 1963. Out of that group, researchers randomly chose 255 men and women for more detailed studies of kidney function and quality of life. "A donor's life span does not seem to be altered because of their donation, and risk of kidney failure is actually lower than what is reported in the general U.S. population," said Hassan Ibrahim, M.D., lead author of the study. Moreover, using standardized tools for assessment of quality of life, the study found that 60 percent of donors have physical and mental health summary scores that are above the scores of the general population. This may be a direct consequence of the routine screening of donors for important health conditions at the time of donation, Ibrahim said. "Our study indicates that kidney donors who are carefully screened for major health conditions have a normal life span, a health status that is similar to that of the general population, and an excellent quality of life," Ibrahim said. "Health care professionals involved in the selection of potential kidney donors should continue to employ stringent selection criteria so these donors who give so generously enjoy outcomes that are similar to what we have reported in this study."