Good news. A study by a group of researchers at John Hopkins School of Medicine indicates that people do not put their own health at risk by donating their kidney.
The study was conducted on 80,347 people who donated a kidney between April 1, 1994 and March 21, 2009. Mortality rates were compared to a similar matched group from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). This similar group did not donate a kidney.
“Regardless of what physiologic changes might occur in a healthy adult after kidney donation, our findings of similar long-term survival between donors and healthy comparison patients suggest that these physiologic changes do not result in premature death.”
They feel that while further study is indicated to understand physiologic changes, their findings do not suggest that these changes result in premature death. They also state that the current practice of live kidney donation should continue to be considered a reasonable and safe modality for addressing the profound shortage in deceased donor organs.