Transplanted kidneys from older donors often work just as well as organs from younger donors, a study said on Monday.
In the study of 324 kidney transplant patients, 13 percent of organs from donors aged 55 or older failed, compared to a 15 percent failure rate for kidneys obtained from younger ones.
Kidneys from younger donors generally functioned better than older kidneys, but all the successfully transplanted kidneys functioned acceptably, the study said. Transplant patients’ survival rates after one, two and three years were also comparable.
“After proper evaluation, kidneys from older deceased or living donors are appropriate for selected candidates, including older patients awaiting transplantation and those with limited life expectancy based on their severity of illness,” Dr. Paul Morrissey of Brown Medical School, Providence, Rhode Island, wrote in the journal Archives of Surgery.
More important than the age of the donor, especially for an older patient waiting for a new kidney, is to obtain a healthy organ, whether the donor is living or deceased, the report said.
The number of Americans waiting for a transplantable kidney has steadily risen to more than 57,000, while the number of potential organ donors dying from trauma in younger age groups is declining.