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Kidney Donors May Not Face Higher Heart Disease Risk

March 7, 2012
By


FRIDAY, March 2 (HealthDay News) — People who donate a kidney
don’t appear to face a higher risk of developing heart disease in the
first decade following donation, new research finds.

But because a longer-term risk may still exist, the study authors
advise careful monitoring of donors for signs of cardiac problems.

Given the established evidence of a strong association between poor
kidney function and heart disease, the study team said that this fresh
observation should provide some reassurance to prospective donors who
stand to lose half a kidney in the process.

The findings appear online March 2 in the journal BMJ.

The team comprised researchers from Canada, Australia and the United
States. The study “adds to the available evidence base supporting the
safety of the practice amongst carefully selected donors,” the authors
said in a journal news release.

For the study, Amit Garg, of the University of Western Ontario and the
London Kidney Clinical Research Unit in Ontario, Canada, and colleagues
analyzed the medical records of slightly more than 2,000 Canadian
residents who had donated a kidney between 1992 and 2009. The
investigators also looked at data from more than 20,000 healthy non-donors
for comparison.

On average, the team tracked the cardiovascular health of the donor
population for 6.5 years, while general risk trends were tallied for even
longer.

Kidney function was reduced among the donors, the study authors found.
However, kidney donors actually appeared to run a lower risk for death or
the initial onset of a major heart complication, compared to
non-donors.

No appreciable difference was noted in the risk for a major
cardiovascular incident between donors and non-donors.

Donor age (at the time of donation) also seemed to have no effect on
heart disease risk, the investigators found. The authors theorized that
this is probably because donors, by definition, are a relatively healthy
group of people, and typically go in for routine postoperative
follow-ups.

In an accompanying editorial, Sarah White, an adjunct research
investigator at the University of Michigan, said the study “makes an
important contribution to our understanding of the long-term consequences
of living kidney donation.”

More information

For more on kidney donations, visit the National Kidney Foundation.

Article source: http://news.yahoo.com/kidney-donors-may-not-face-higher-heart-disease-140206742.html

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