Background: Evaluation of candidates to serve as living kidney donors relies on screening for individual risk factors for end-stage renal disease (ESRD). To support an empirical approach to donor selection, we developed a tool that simultaneously incorporates multiple health characteristics to estimate a person's probable long-term risk of ESRD if that person does not donate a kidney.
Methods: We used risk associations from a meta-analysis of seven general population cohorts, calibrated to the population-level incidence of ESRD and mortality in the United States, to project the estimated long-term incidence of ESRD among persons who do not donate a kidney, according to 10 demographic and health characteristics. We then compared 15-year projections with the observed risk among 52,998 living kidney donors in the United States.
Results: A total of 4,933,314 participants from seven cohorts were followed for a median of 4 to 16 years. For a 40-year-old person with health characteristics that were similar to those of age-matched kidney donors, the 15-year projections of the risk of ESRD in the absence of donation varied according to race and sex; the risk was 0.24% among black men, 0.15% among black women, 0.06% among white men, and 0.04% among white women. Risk projections were higher in the presence of a lower estimated glomerular filtration rate, higher albuminuria, hypertension, current or former smoking, diabetes, and obesity. In the model-based lifetime projections, the risk of ESRD was highest among persons in the youngest age group, particularly among young blacks. The 15-year observed risks after donation among kidney donors in the United States were 3.5 to 5.3 times as high as the projected risks in the absence of donation.
Conclusions: Multiple demographic and health characteristics may be used together to estimate the projected long-term risk of ESRD among living kidney-donor candidates and to inform acceptance criteria for kidney donors. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and others.).