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Living Kidney Donors Experience 37 Heart Changes After Donation

You’ve heard me harp on this before. How a 10% reduction in kidney function significantly increases the risk of cardiovacular disease and death. How most people who are diagnosed in with early stage CKD (chronic kidney disease), GFR 60-80, will die of a cardiovascular event before progressing to kidney failure. How 26% of kidney failure is due to hypertension, etc. etc.


Moody et. al. have found that only 12 months post-donation, living kidney donors experience 37 different cardiovascular changes. (yes, as compared to controls; see Figures 1 & 2 at the link)

The short version:


A modest reduction in GFR causes increased Left Ventricular mass, Left Ventricular systolic dysfunction, increased aortic stiffness and adverse changes to CV (cardiovascular) biomarkers. Reduced GFR should be regarded as an independent causative CV risk factor.


Below is one table from the study (click for full size). The other is too small to read, and can’t be accessed without a subscription.


moody-biochemical effects reduced GFR 2015


If you’re interested, you can read Moody’s rationale and design of the EARNEST study in The American Heart Journal from February 2014.






Moody, W., Ferro, C., Edwards, N., Chue, C., Lin, E., Cockwell, P., Steeds, R., Townend, J., & Taylor, R. (2015). 37 Cardiovascular Effects of Unilateral Nephrectomy in Human Kidney Donors Heart, 101 (Suppl 4) DOI: 10.1136/heartjnl-2015-308066.37