A new study published in the Feb. 11 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association found a very low incidence of end-stage renal disease among more than 96,000 people who had become living kidney donors between April 1994 and November 2011. Maureen McBride, PhD, director of research at the United Network for Organ Sharing, and Jennifer Wainright, PhD, a research analyst at UNOS, were among the study’s coauthors in collaboration with researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

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The study compares risk of developing ESRD for previous living kidney donors, not only against the general population, but against a cohort of people in a national survey who did not become donors but who were similar in overall health and other medical characteristics. The estimated lifetime risk of developing ESRD was approximately 90 in 10,000 among living kidney donors. This rate was higher than in non-donors of comparable health (whose estimated risk was 14 in 10,000) but much lower than in the general population (326 in 10,000). Among living donors, the risk of developing ESRD was higher for non-Caucasian donors than for Caucasians.