The Long-Term Quality of Life of Living Kidney Donors: A Multicenter Cohort Study
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Previous studies that described the long-term quality of life of living kidney donors were conducted in single centers, and lacked data on a healthy nondonor comparison group. We conducted a retrospective cohort study to compare the quality of life of 203 kidney donors with 104 healthy nondonor controls using validated scales (including the SF36, 15D and feeling thermometer) and author-developed questions. Participants were recruited from nine transplant centers in Canada, Scotland and Australia. Outcomes were assessed a median of 5.5 years after the time of transplantation (lower and upper quartiles of 3.8 and 8.4 years, respectively). 15D scores (scale of 0 to 1) were high and similar between donors and nondonors (mean 0.93 (standard deviation (SD) 0.09) and 0.94 (SD 0.06), p = 0.55), and were not different when results were adjusted for several prognostic characteristics (p = 0.55). On other scales and author-developed questions, groups performed similarly. Donors to recipients who had an adverse outcome (death, graft failure) had similar quality of life scores as those donors where the recipient did well. Our findings are reassuring for the practice of living transplantation. Those who donate a kidney in centers that use routine pretransplant donor evaluation have good long-term quality of life.
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