There is promising news from OPTN/UNOS about the success of kidney transplantations from living donors who are over the age of 55. A study of more than 20,000 kidney transplants has revealed that the survival rates of recipients who received living donor kidneys hardly varies at all when you compare whether the living donor was older than 55 or younger. Meanwhile, the survival rates for the living donor recipients was significantly better than the rate for people who received kidneys from deceased donors — regardless of whether the living donors were over or under 55.
There’s a lot of statistics in the report to plow through, but the bottom line is, transplant centers may be more receptive, based on this data, to the idea of accepting living donors from people over 55 than they have been in the past. Which in turn means a larger pool of living donors, and, again in turn, means more hope for the people waiting for a kidney.
The OPTN/UNOS study was published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases; I assume the September edition. Since that’s not the sort of publication I frequent (I’m a Vanity Fair girl, myself), I got the news from Reuters Health, which posted an article on September 18.