Money Underpins Drop in Kidney Donations Among Men and the Poor

US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT | Dennis Thompson


THURSDAY, March 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Your wallet takes a hit when you donate a kidney to save someone's life.

That could be the reason for a steady decline in U.S. kidney donations by men and by people in low-income households, a new study suggests.

The living kidney donation rate among men dropped by 25 percent between 2005 and 2015, but remained stable among women, the researchers found.

Kidney donation rates also declined for poor and lower-income families over that period, according to the report.

Money appears to be at the root of these trends, said Dr. Jagbir Gill, an assistant professor of nephrology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

"We found that in both men and women, donation rates dropped the most in the lower-income groups, and the effect was much more pronounced in men," Gill said.

Medical costs are covered for people who choose to donate a kidney, but many incidental costs are not repaid, he said. These include travel expenses and lost wages from missed work time.

"We believe because there are these financial barriers to donation, people in higher-income groups are able to sustain that more," Gill said. "People who are in lower-income groups are taking a big financial hit and they might not be able to support that hit when they donate." Continue reading
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