THURSDAY, March 22 (HealthDay News) -- The age of a live kidney
donor has little effect on the long-term health of a transplanted
kidney in recipients older than age 39, a new study says.
The findings should encourage more people to participate in
living donor paired-exchange programs ("kidney swaps"), said Dr.
John Gill, of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and
In kidney-swap programs, a donor whose kidney isn't compatible
with a loved one who needs a new kidney instead donates a kidney to
a stranger. In return, the donor's loved one receives a kidney from
The researchers analyzed data from all adult kidney transplants
from living donors that were performed in the United States between
January 1988 and December 2003. Follow-ups continued through
The age of the kidney donors, which ranged from 18 to 64 years,
had minimal effect on the survival of transplanted kidneys in
recipients older than age 39. Recipients ages 18 to 39 benefited
the most when they received kidneys from donors in the same age
The study appears online March 22 in the
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.
"This information should help increase participation and efficiency of living donor paired-exchange programs because it alleviates patient concerns about receiving a kidney from an older-aged living donor," Gill said in a journal news release.
Nearly 90,000 people in the United States are waiting for a
kidney transplant, according to the release, and many will die
before a suitable kidney becomes available. Kidney-swap programs
help increase the donor pool.
The National Kidney Foundation has more about