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Kidney donors face little risk, study shows

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A new investigation involving 80,000 participants has revealed that people’s length of life is unlikely to be shortened if they donate a kidney.

The US study examined the long-term impact of losing a kidney and live kidney donors took part.

The researchers found that a person faced little risk if they donated a kidney.

Their findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

“Donating a kidney is safe,” said leading author Dr Dorry Segev, a transplant surgeon at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

“Live donors start healthy and it’s the highest priority of the surgeon and the entire transplant community to make sure they stay healthy. This study says we have succeeded. While there are never any guarantees with surgery, donating a kidney is safer than undergoing almost any other operation.”

Dr Segev’s team looked at data from a national registry of 80,347 live kidney donors in the US from 1994 to 2009.

During the whole 15-year period there were 25 deaths in the first 90 days after donation surgery, a mortality rate of 3.1 per 10,000 cases.

By contrast the risk of dying after having a gall bladder removed was 18 per 10,000 cases - roughly six times higher.

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