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Living Kidney Donors and Cardiovascular Risk – Not Safe Yet!

I’m sure some of you have seen the latest marketing PR blitz to come out of the transplant industry, which is that living kidney donors are NOT at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and death than non-donors.


I’m gonna be brief, mostly because I’m up to my neck in kitchen renovation planning and I just don’t have the resources to sift through this like I’m mining for gold.


1. This study was done in Canada, not the US. A country that has national healthcare. A country with longer life expectancy. A country with less income disparity. A country with a healthier lifestyle than the US.

2. There was no accounting for race or ethnicity.


And here’s the biggie:

3. The study IS NOT LONG TERM.


To quote (emphasis mine):

The risk of major cardiovascular events in donors is no higher in the first decade after kidney donation compared with a similarly healthy segment of the general population.


Long-term is defined as 20 years or more. This does not apply.


Just in case you need a reminder, the first LKD Ron Herrick, had a stroke in 2002, was on dialysis the last years of his life, and died following a cardiac procedure in 2010. His older siblings attended his funeral.



Garg, A., Meirambayeva, A., Huang, A., Kim, J., Prasad, G., Knoll, G., Boudville, N., Lok, C., McFarlane, P., Karpinski, M., Storsley, L., Klarenbach, S., Lam, N., Thomas, S., Dipchand, C., Reese, P., Doshi, M., Gibney, E., Taub, K., Young, A., & , . (2012). Cardiovascular disease in kidney donors: matched cohort study BMJ, 344 (mar01 2) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.e1203

4 replies on “Living Kidney Donors and Cardiovascular Risk – Not Safe Yet!”

That it was done up here in Canada or down in the US is a moot point.LKDs are just as vigorously ignored here,with most complaints passed off as ‘in your head’ or pinned on the closest health problem OUTSIDE of obviously having only one kidney.Healthcare is free (well,funded by tax),true,but that does not responsible healthcare providers make.Sure it’s easier to see a doctor…but it’s just as hard to make them listen/do anything!

I appreciate your point, and no where was I saying that Canadian living donors are treated better by their medical community. However, over 50 million Americans have no health insurance, which means they have no access to health care except in case of a life-threatening emergency, which is a very important factor when discussing long-term chronic conditions such as heart disease. If you look at my post on Mjoen’s study, you’ll see that even though his living donors also have access to health care, he’s careful to say IF they access the care. He recognizes the importance of prevention and early detection. I suggest we’re all pretty lax about those things because we’re told there are no long-term adverse effects to giving up a kidney. It’s crap of course, but overcoming nearly 60 years of propaganda is pretty difficult.

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