Let's Talk Peritoneal Dialysis!

Hey, I'm Jason. I'm a chronically-ill-super-freedom-loving-medical-self-journalist.

Donors Study

I’ll let this one speak for itself. Published in the Los Angeles Times January 29, 2009.

Kidney Donors Have a Normal Life Span, Study Finds

The groundbreaking report also finds that donors have fewer kidney problems than the general populace, perhaps because of stepped-up screening procedures.

By Thomas H. Maugh II
January 29, 2009

Potential kidney donors can stop worrying about the long-term effects such a donation might have on their health and longevity.

The first long-term study of kidney donors has found that people who give kidneys to others not only have a normal life span, they also have fewer kidney problems than the general population — perhaps because they are healthier to begin with. “We’ve suspected all along that kidney donation is a safe practice, but there has never been a long-term study with large numbers of patients in the United States,” said Dr. Hassan N. Ibrahim of the University of Minnesota Medical School, who led the study.

The report published today in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzed the outcome for nearly 3,700 donors who were studied for as long as 40 years.

“We’re hoping that these results will make the decision to donate easier for people and alleviate anxiety about living with one kidney,” he added.

Kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ in the United States, with 8,816 transplants performed last year with organs from deceased donors and 4,927 from living donors, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS.

But the need is growing dramatically because of sharp increases in diabetes and high blood pressure, the most common causes of kidney failure.

The National Kidney Foundation estimates that there are 350,000 Americans suffering from end-stage kidney disease, with about 67,000 dying each year without even making it onto the waiting list for transplants. That list currently sits at 78,210, according to UNOS, and the wait for a donor is about five to seven years — longer than most of the victims survive.

The alternative to transplants is kidney dialysis, but it is a poor substitute because it does not fulfill many of the secondary functions of the kidney, such as the production of hormones. As a consequence, about 20% of dialysis patients die each year.

Earlier studies had suggested that living donors might be the answer. Small studies of World War II war injuries showed that soldiers who lost a kidney in battle were able to function effectively with their remaining kidney, and in the 1960s surgeons began experimenting with living-donor transplants. Such transplants grew increasingly popular, with the number peaking at 6,647 in 2004.

Joel Newman, a UNOS spokesman, noted that there were a couple of highly publicized deaths of living donors early this decade during surgery, leading hospitals to be more selective in whom they would allow to donate.

And Dr. Bryan Becker of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, president of the National Kidney Foundation, noted that the growing incidence of diabetes and hypertension that has precipitated the need for more donations has also restricted the number of potential donors. People with such conditions, which increase the risk of kidney problems, are not eligible to donate.

Ibrahim and his colleagues collected data on the 3,698 people who donated kidneys at the University of Minnesota between 1963 and 2007 and compared them to a similar number of healthy patients matched for age, gender, body weight and other factors.

The donors “have a very comparable life span” to that of the controls, Ibrahim said, and “it might be better.”

Only 11 of the donors themselves developed end-stage kidney disease. That is a rate of 180 cases per million persons per year, compared with the rate of 268 cases per million persons per year in the general population.

The team also studied a representative sampling of 255 donors more intensively. For many years, Ibrahim said, medical schools have taught doctors-to-be that the donors are more likely to develop high blood pressure or protein in the urine, a sign of early kidney disease.

But the new results found that they are not. These “surprising findings,” he said, emphasize that these risks have nothing to do with kidney donation but are related to age, weight and other factors.”

The donors’ mental and physical quality of life were also at least as high as those of the general population, they found.

As a result of these findings, “we are now able to quantify risks to donors in ways we have not been able to do with quite as much accuracy as before,” Becker said.

Ibrahim attributes the results in large part to the fact that physicians screen donors carefully for good health. But he also believes that the donors simply feel better about themselves “for having made a difference in the person to whom they donated a kidney.”

thomas.maugh@latimes.com

5 comments on “Donors Study

  1. workout Length
    October 1, 2014

    Great info. Lucky me I discovered your site by accident
    (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

  2. I was suggested this blog via my cousin. I am no longer sure
    whether or not this put up is written via him as nobody else realize
    such particular about my difficulty. You’re incredible!

    Thank you!

  3. Will Marquez
    May 2, 2014

    Jason great job on this site not really sure where to post this comment and our experience but I thought I’d put it here in hopes to spread knowledge about what living with a loved one who suffers with kidney disease is like. I hope families suffering with kidney disease get hope and some understanding of how not to let this disease stop you or your family from living a great life…
    My wife, Belkys, was diagnosed with lupus nephritis when our now 8 year old daughter was in her womb. At that time I had sacrificed my career to allow her to pursue her career. We had just moved to Virginia with a 3 year old son in tote a year prior. After both of us not being able to find employment for 9 months in our home state of Florida.
    Belkys was the main and only income at the time and I took on the role of stay at home dad ( hardest job I ever had but most rewarding) since her career was on a rotational shift it seemed the best option. Back then we thought she had 5 years to live and were so scared to have to go through the experience of losing kidney function and everything the internet info had to offer plus the doctors diagnosis was not favorable at the time.. It was the end of all our dreams to build a life together…..
    Fast forward to 2012 my wife Belkys,who belongs to the elite Uber Super Parents League is still the main bread winner and we are in Florida with 2 lovely kids. The baby in the womb has had the privilege to do some modeling, our son is trying to help as much as possible and I am working to put butter on the bread she makes with my comparative tiny pay check.
    After spending a few weeks in the hospital with end stage renal failure my wife has a new attachment to her body the brand new hemo dialysis port in her chest to allow treatment because both kidneys now function at less than 15%. With a prescription to get 3 treatments a week at the Davita clinic that only take 2-3 hours per session. But that is not how it went down.
    We went through two month of hemo where the first port kept clogging turning a 3 hour dialysis to an as much as 8 hour ordeal with her being told to hold her neck up and her legs in the opposite direction of her shoulders to get it to work. This caused great discomfort along with getting edimic and what is nicked named moon face. Putting her career goals and her self worth at risk.So they put in a second port that one got infected when she yanked it accidentally reaching back for the sippy cup on the floor of the car. This one too had to be pulled out and the team of doctors we have collected by now realized her body just does not like hemo dialysis. So we go for the peritoneal dialysis.
    Oh what a God’s gift to those of us dealing with kidney disease. Belkys can have her days back and only has to plug in at night to a machine we put on a wheeled cart with 3 bags, 2 with a solution that will be pumped into her body to draw the impurities that the kidneys would have drawn out and one to collect said impurities. In addition the hoses are long enough that after plugging to the machine she can walk to anywhere in the house after parking said cart in a central location to the nearest electrical outlet and continue with the role of Super mom while I am at work. Thusly allowing the super hero of this story to make dinner, clean house, work as an engineer for a famous government contractor and do what she can to avoid feeling helpless. All while getting nagged by the sidekicks Ultra Dad and kids to take it easy and let us help too…
    Fast forward to today, We have had a normal life as a family blessed with more time than originally expected allowing us wonderful experiences like going on 2 Disney cruises (most accommodating to the life style of our super hero) and still she is functioning like a normal member of the Uber Super Parents League as a Super Mom with challenges like getting on the transplant lists, dealing with anemia and other issues that come with the Lupus giving her days where she is stronger than ever and days where surprise there must be kyptonite around making her super weak, but no fear it is no real threat to the super hero life style.
    But at times even super moms find their nemesis. Two fights with Peritonitis put her down threatening her life and threatening to put her back on the Hemo dialysis but her team of doctors had her back to Super status in a heart beat with a warning to not get into another battle with her nemesis or else no more peritoneal dialysis. Because the drain bags gave us immediate access to see the quality/ status of the drain fluid.
    We have a new challenger in the ring the secret some body ( probably a healthy person who does not understand patients of the Super parents League) has decided to give us cartridges ( the hoses that connect to the port)with short hoses trying to limit Belkys’ mobility at home and removing the drain bags that had we not had them we would not had taken Belkys to the hospital in time to get rid of the bacteria that tried to live in her peritoneum. We hope that the other members of the Super Parents league who want the longer hoses and bags will unite to contact Baxter and their clinics to aid in educating that this new blanket policy is not going to work for all. But I digress. The point is that if you have kidney disease there is hope don’t let it stop you and I live with a Super Mom.
    Sites like this allow us the families dealing with kidney disease to educate those who don’t live with peritoneal dialysis that you can lead a super hero life, you can live another day to get closer to the day that there are systems in place that will allow progress to ending kidney disease or to get the new kidney with out waiting for the donor. Such as research like the one provided by Anthony Atala (see this ted talk about printed kidneys pass it on please http://www.ted.com/talks/anthony_atala_printing_a_human_kidney ) where we will not have to wait for an organ donor that matches like my wife and Jason who have the hard to get Organs because of their blood type and antibodies in the blood. We need to unite.
    So in conclusion, Jason I hope you get your kidney Donor soon or that Dr Atala can print you and my wife a new kidney soon. God bless all of you and keep on fighting to see the next day with your own set of super powers. I hope this helps you all and with sincerity this is the sidekicks Ultra Super Dad and Kids out.

  4. cindy brown
    February 2, 2010

    hey just wanted to say hello and I found you due to I wear your shirt with jason sadler and evan white. Just wanted to say I am so proud of you and your great attitude in life!!! your an inspiration to all who are out there!!! I will keep you in my prayers and become a follower!!!

  5. Pingback: They Wear My Shirts! « I need a kidney.

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