11 March 2010
By Kounteya Sinha
New Delhi, India
Donors Do Better As They Take Care Of Themselves, Says Study
Donate a Kidney and Live LongerThinking about donating a kidney to save the life of a loved one? Afraid that it might handicap you forever? An interesting largescale study, whose results were announced on Wednesday, can now help you decide.
Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine followed 80,000 people who underwent kidney donation surgery between 1994 and 2009 and compared their health status with 9,364 healthy participants and found that kidney donors fared just as well as non-donors over the long term. In fact, researchers said donors lived somewhat longer because they tended to take better care of themselves after the procedure.
“It’s just that kidney donors face a higher risk of death in the 90 days immediately following surgery because of risks related to surgery,” the team said. The study said the practice of live kidney donation should continue to be considered safer than deceased donor organs—yet to come alive in India. At present, of the 1.5 lakh new patients who suffer from end-stage renal failure annually in India, only 3,500 get kidney transplants and 6,000 undergo dialysis. The rest perish, thanks to an acute shortage of dialysis centres, available kidneys for transplantation and nephrologists to man them. Experts say India has just 800 nephrologists for 7.5 lakh people suffering from various degrees of chronic kidney disease (CKD). National estimates say 1 in 10 Indians suffer from some degree of CKD.
According to the study published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, over a 15 year period, both donors and non-donors lived healthily.