Live Kidney Donation Considered Safe for Donor

Long-term survival unaffected; some groups have higher surgical mortality
By A. Agrawal, PhD
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, March 9 (HealthDay News) -- Live kidney donation does not impact the long-term survival of the donor and can be considered safe, although certain groups are at higher risk of death shortly after surgery, according to research published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Dorry L. Segev, M.D., from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues analyzed data on surgical mortality and long-term survival after live kidney donation from a registry of 80,347 live kidney donors in the United States compared with 9,364 matched non-donors.

After a median follow-up of 6.3 years, the researchers found that 90-day surgical mortality was 3.1 per 10,000 donors and has remained steady since 1994. Surgical mortality was higher in men than women (risk ratio, 3.0), in African-Americans compared with Caucasians and Hispanics (risk ratio, 3.1), and in those with hypertension compared with no hypertension (risk ratio, 27.4). However, long-term mortality was similar in donors and non-donors.

"Among a cohort of live kidney donors compared with a healthy matched cohort, the mortality rate was not significantly increased after a median of 6.3 years," Segev and colleagues conclude. "Although additional studies are clearly needed to better understand the physiologic changes after kidney donation, the current practice of live kidney donation should continue to be considered a reasonable and safe modality for addressing the profound shortage in deceased donor organs."

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