Does giving up a kidney shorten your life?

Donating a kidney does not affect a person's life expectancy. On the contrary, studies show that people who donate a kidney survive the average population. Twenty years after donating, 85 percent of kidney donors were still alive, while the expected survival rate was 66 percent. Living donation does not change life expectancy and does not appear to increase the risk of kidney failure.

In general, most people with only one normal kidney have few or no problems; however, you should always talk to your transplant team about the risks involved in donating. Some studies report that living donors may be more likely to develop high blood pressure. It is recommended that potential donors consult with their doctor about the risks of living donation. In general, kidney donation has minimal long-term risks, especially when compared to the health risks of the general population.

However, kidney donation may slightly increase the risk of developing kidney failure, especially if you are a middle-aged black man. The increased risk is minimal and translates into less than 1 percent chance of kidney failure in the future. Many Kidney Donors Lead Normal Lives After Kidney Donation. Donation does not affect the function or survival of the remaining kidney.

On the other hand, the capacity of the remaining kidney can increase on average by 22.4%. This is known as “compensatory growth”. The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and oldest organization dedicated to kidney disease awareness, prevention and treatment. While kidney donors had higher diastolic blood pressure (the lowest number of readings, reflecting blood pressure between heartbeats) and a higher risk of end-stage renal disease, other important risk profiles were comparable to those of non-donors.

The motivations of each donor can vary greatly, and each donor has a unique experience as they progress through the process of donating their kidney, from the initial decision to be evaluated as a potential donor to years after the donation occurs. Reviewing previous studies that included more than 100,000 living kidney donors, scientists found that donors appear to be at greater risk of worsening blood pressure and kidney function than non-donors. Since the mid to late 1990s, advances in surgical techniques have dramatically improved cosmetic outcome following live kidney donation. The better survival among donors is probably due to the fact that only healthy people are accepted for living kidney donation.

There have been some cases where living donors needed a kidney later, not necessarily because of the donation itself. Live kidney donation was associated with additional risk of ESRD, especially among males and blacks. Some studies have indicated a slight increase in the incidence of ESKD after donation among certain groups; in particular black donors, younger donors, donors genetically related to their recipients, donors related to recipients with immunological causes of kidney failure, and donors with obesity. Reese said that living kidney donors can do much to minimize their short- and long-term health risks after donation.

However, they are at risk of developing these conditions, whether they donate or not, and will affect patient survival and loss of kidney function in both donors and non-donors. Compared to the general public, most kidney donors have equivalent (or better) survival, excellent quality of life, and no increase in end-stage renal disease (ESKD). Talk to your transplant team about any pre-existing conditions or other factors that may put you at increased risk of developing kidney disease, and consider them carefully before making a donation decision. .

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