Many Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients are growing very desperate to get off of the Kidney Transplant Waiting List and lead a fuller, more complete life with a Kidney Transplant. Since the list is now over 100,000 and counting, and the average national wait times exceed 5 to 7 years, many patients are entering newer terrain and considering more drastic options.
Recommended Reading: Age Discrimination In Kidney Donation Maybe Harmful To All On The Waiting List
A KidneyBuzz.com viewer and Find A Kidney Donor Campaign client (click here) wrote, "Could you let me know what age range I need to be looking for in order to connect with a realistically viable match? I am 42 and somebody in there 70's doesn't seem possible, what about somebody in their 20's?" Ironically, the number of altruistic (generous) Living Kidney Donors over the age of 70 is increasing with very promising health outcomes for the recipients as well as the donors.
From the year 1990 to 2010, 219 individuals between the ages of 70 and 84 donated kidneys, suggested Dr. Dorry Segev (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine). In fact, in a recent year, 96 people age 65 and older served as Living Kidney Donors in the United States. Altogether, 1,382 adults 65 years old and older have served as altruistic Living Kidney Donors since 1988, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing (manages the nation’s transplant system).
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What's more surprising is that most commonly these seniors gave their organs to middle-aged and older adults. The usual recipients were their children (37 percent), followed by their spouses or partners (35 percent), siblings (14 percent), and other relatives, friends, and strangers who they felt a connection with (14 percent).
The data regarding medical outcomes when using older kidneys is relatively limited but very encouraging. Johns Hopkins University found that 93 percent of patients who received kidneys from live donors 70 years old and older were alive one year after transplant surgery, and 74.5 percent survived five years. As for patients who got kidneys from younger Living Kidney Donors, 96 percent were alive at one year and 83 percent at five years -- a result considered statistically equivalent. Kaiser Health News reported, "A separate report from Dr. Sandip Kapur and colleagues at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center found that kidneys from living donors age 60 and older were equally likely to be going strong after five years as those from younger donors." No differences were observed in results for a subset of donors 70 years old and older.
Yet, physicians are very cautious about accepting kidneys from older donors. Nearly three-quarters (3/4) of transplant centers across the United States have not accepted organs from people older than 70, according to Johns Hopkins research. However, positive results from donation for both the recipient and the older donor serve as a good argument for "the expansion of older living-donor transplantation because this may represent an important solution to the organ shortage,” concluded Dr. Sandip Kapur (Cornell University Medical Center).
Given the fact that more individuals of all ages are stepping forward to serve as potential altruistic (kind-hearted) Living Kidney Donors, Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients should make sure that they are continuing to share their need for a Kidney Transplant. If you need assistance click here and let the KidneyBuzz.com Social Media Team help.
How are you outreaching to improve your chances of connecting with potential Altruistic Living Kidney Donors? Share your answers with the over 43,000+ friends at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page (click here). Like the page while you are there. Also, visit KidneyBuzz.com (1.2 million viewers in the past 12 months) daily for breaking news and information which teaches those with Chronic Kidney Disease, Dialysis, Kidney Transplant, Diabetes, and High Blood Pressure how to better manage and improve their lives.