New Finding Illustrates Surprising Risk Level For Certain Kidney Transplant Donors
Presented at the American Society of Nephrology 46th annual Kidney Week Event, brand new research revealed that people 55 years of age and older who donate a kidney are at no greater risk for death or cardiovascular disease than age-matched non-donors. Dr. Peter Reese, University of Pennsylvania lead researcher said, “These findings suggest that it is reasonable to accept healthy, well-informed, older adults as kidney donors.” This is a very important finding for anyone signed up on the increasingly expanding Kidney Transplant Waiting List because potential Living Donors and Transplant Physicians alike are constantly concerned about the risk of side effects in healthy adults after donating a kidney. Kidney Recipients also find themselves concerned about their Living Donors’ well being after donation. Well now all parties can rest a bit easier as findings suggest, by and large, Living Donors will be fine!
The waiting list for a Kidney Transplant is becoming more crowded and increasingly composed of older adults. This means that the most likely candidates for Living Donation (often spouses, siblings or friends) tend to be older as well. Due to the fact that research about the affect age has on transplant outcomes is lacking, many centers have absolute glomerular filtration rates (kidney function test), even though kidney function usually declines with age. As waiting list times increase, these new findings may allow older motivated adults who are healthy but previously might not have been considered to be a viable option, gain favor from decision makers. What’s more, reassuring findings such as these will certainly cause possible Living Donors to consider or reconsider donation.
Researchers found that older kidney donors showed no significant difference in death rates when compared to other tested groups of the same age after 7 years and 8 months of their transplant. Another study that was published by the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology in September found that regardless of age, “Kidney donors’ risk of complications and the length of their hospital stays have decreased in recent years.”
Although there was a very slight increased risk of End-Stage Renal Disease in some donors over the age of 55 (20 incidents out of 3368 people researched), donors should be able to almost entirely avoid the risk with careful medical follow up throughout their lives. KidneyBuzz.com would like all of those who are considering becoming a living donor as well as current End-Stage Renal Disease patients to recognize that the chances of a successful transplant without severe side effects to the donor are high.
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