06/12/2009 - News

Obesity is a risk factor for living kidney donors

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Living kidney donors who are overweight or obese may suffer damage to the remaining kidney.

There are an increasing number of patients requiring kidney transplantation. To meet the demand, living donors are being used increasingly. But there are naturally concerns over whether donating a kidney could have any impact on long-term health.

In a new study, researchers at the University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands, assessed kidney function among 200 living donors, paying attention to the possible impact of donor weight. They found obesity to be an important factor in higher filtration factor - the blood pressure within the remaining kidney. This means the kidney has to work harder, which might damage it in the long-term.

This is a cause for concern, but an increased filtration factor is treatable by medication such as angiotension-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. A low sodium diet may also be very helpful in helping normalized filtration factor. The researchers believe further work should be done to examine the long-term health of living kidney donors, especially when obesity or overweight is a factor.

Source
American Society of Nephrology meeting 18th November 2006

Created on: 11/24/2006
Reviewed on: 06/12/2009

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