Study suggests loosening the age limits on kidney donors


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If you need a kidney transplant, you have to wait for a donor who has a healthy organ and is a good match.

Oh yeah, one other thing. The donor needs to be a certain age. Currently, organs from donors older than 65 are often turned down and are only accepted on a case-by-case basis.

But now a new study suggests these age limits on donors prevent life-saving kidneys from getting to patients who need them. Writing in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, researchers argue that even kidneys from 80 year-old donors can function for years.

The researchers say kidneys from older people are routinely rejected because of age. But with a current shortage of available organs, they say it's time to rethink that age limit.

The study, conducted in Italy, examined information on more than 600 kidney transplants in which the donor was beyond the usual age cut-off. Some were 60 years-old or older, while others were between the ages of 50 and 59 but had certain risk factors. Continue reading