Living Donor Research Living Kidney Donor

Living Kidney Donors Are Not As Healthy As They Used To Be

The Renal and Lung Living Donors Evaluation (RELIVE) Study captured 8,951 live kidney donations at the three study sites from 1963 to 2007 at  the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN; University of Alabama at Birmingham, AL; and University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN.

“Females made up 56% of living kidney donors and there was a trend on both an absolute and percentile basis for more females to be donors in recent years. Donors were predominantly white (86%). Nine percent of living donors were African American and the majority of these were at the University of Alabama at Birmingham site, where there was an increase in the proportion of African American donors over time.”


“Overall, 80% of living kidney donors were biologically related to their recipient. However, in the most recent quartile (1997–2007), there was an increase in the percentage of non-biologically related donors and recipients. Non-biologically related donors increased from 1% to 35% among females and 1% to 29% among males from quartile 1 to quartile 4. Very few donors were non-directed (1%), and nearly all of those were at the University of Minnesota.”

[note: quartile 1 is 1963-1974; quartile 2 is 1975-1985; quartile 3 is 1986-1996; quartile 4 is 1997-2007]


“Among those donating to a first degree biological relative, 77% to 94% indicated a family history of kidney disease and 34% to 45% indicated a family history of diabetes.”


“The median values for age at donation, BMI (body mass index), fasting blood glucose, and SBP (systolic blood pressure) increased over time”

[note: median is the midpoint, where half are above and half are below]


“Mean BMI at donation increased progressively from quartile 1 to 4, as did the percentage of living kidney donors meeting the World Health Organization definition for overweight (BMI from 25–29.9 kg/m2 ) and obese (BMI ?30 kg/m2 ). Overall, 20% of all donors had a BMI ?30 kg/m2 . In the most recent quartile, 26% of donors were obese compared to 8% in quartile 1”


“Pre-donation glucose intolerance increased from 9% in quartile 1 to 21% in quartile 2 and was present in almost one-quarter of living donors” thereafter


“Living kidney donation experienced explosive growth over the study period, with greater use of donors between the ages of 41 and 60 years and of obese donors…. The percent of donors age 30 years and younger declined from 41% to 18%, while the percentage of donors older than 60 remained low at 3% to 4%.”


Read it here:

Taler, S., Messersmith, E., Leichtman, A., Gillespie, B., Kew, C., Stegall, M., Merion, R., Matas, A., Ibrahim, H., & , . (2013). Demographic, Metabolic, and Blood Pressure Characteristics of Living Kidney Donors Spanning Five Decades American Journal of Transplantation, 13 (2), 390-398 DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2012.04321.x

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