You’re never too old to register to be a kidney donor, an Italian study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology has confirmed.
It looked at the outcomes of 647 kidney transplants from deceased donors in four age groups: 50 to 59, 60 to 69, 70 to 79, and 80 and older. Average five-year survival rates of both the recipients and the organs were essentially the same across all donor age groups.
There were also no differences in acute rejection of the kidneys, nor were most adverse events related to donor age. There was, however, a higher pre-transplant discard rate for kidneys from the eldest donors.
Given the shortage of available kidneys, selecting donors on the basis of an age cutoff is “unjustified,” the researchers concluded.
There are several ways to elect to become an organ donor. One way is to register with Donate Life America. Or you can can indicate your intentions on your driver’s license or sign up online at DMV.org. You should also make sure your next-of-kin knows your wishes.
Also see Be Kind to Your Kidneys.