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Cardiovascular Event Risk Not Up for Living Kidney Donors

Last Updated: March 02, 2012.

For living kidney donors, there is no increase in the risk of major cardiovascular events or death in the first decade following donation, compared with a representative sample of the healthiest segment of the general population, according to a study published online March 1 in BMJ.

FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) -- For living kidney donors, there is no increase in the risk of major cardiovascular events or death in the first decade following donation, compared with a representative sample of the healthiest segment of the general population, according to a study published online March 1 in BMJ.

To investigate whether people who donate a kidney have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, Amit X. Garg, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, and colleagues reviewed data from 2,028 living kidney donors (median age at time of donation, 43 years) and 20,280 matched controls, selected from the healthiest segment of the general population.

The researchers found that, over a median of 6.5 years of follow-up, the risk of a composite outcome of death or a first major cardiovascular event was lower in donors than in non-donors (2.8 versus 4.1 events per 1,000 person years; hazard ratio [HR], 0.66). There was no difference for donors versus non-donors for the risk of major cardiovascular events not causing death (1.7 versus 2.0 events per 1,000 person years; HR, 0.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.57 to 1.27). When each group was analyzed separately, advanced age and lower income correlated with an increased risk of death and major cardiovascular events in both groups.

"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," the authors write.

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