Researchers have developed a risk calculator to provide personalized risk estimates of developing kidney failure after living kidney donation. The findings appear in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN.

To help provide accurate estimates of long-term risks, a team led by Dorry Segev, MD, PhD, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, studied information on 133,824 living kidney donors from 1987 to 2015, as reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network.

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Overall risk was quite low: the investigators predicted that the median risk of kidney failure was only 1 case per 10,000 donors at five years after donation and only 34 per 10,000 donors at 20 years after donation.

Nevertheless, black race and male sex were associated with 3.0- and 3.9-times increased risks of developing kidney failure, respectively. Among nonblack donors, older age was linked with greater risk, but this was not seen in black donors. Higher body mass index was also associated with an increased risk of kidney failure.

“Because living kidney donors voluntarily undergo surgery for no direct medical benefit to themselves, it is incumbent upon the transplant community to provide them with accurate estimates of long-term risk,” said Segev.

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“Our risk prediction model may be helpful to individuals considering donation, and to living donors and their care providers as they plan long-term follow-up care and health maintenance,” added lead author Allan Massie, PhD, MHS.

Study co-authors include Abimereki Muzaale, MD, MPH, Xun Luo, MD, MPH, Eric Chow, MS, Jayme Locke MD, Anh Nguyen, BA, Macey Henderson, JD, PhD, Jon Snyder, PhD.