Study: Kidney donors do well over long term

While donating a kidney is a big step for any live donor, it appears that they don't face significant added risks from the donation, according to a new study.

The study, which appears in the New England Journal of Medicine, looked at the health of almost 3,700 donors, and went back more than four decades. It then randomly selected a group of 255 donors to have kidney and other tests. They then compared the donor results with standard health status measures for the broader population.

Researchers concluded that donors who gave up one of their kidneys were as healthy as people who hadn't made a donation, and that they weren't at greater risk of having kidney failure later, either.

It's worth noting, however, that donors are generally healthier than the general population to begin with, researchers said. From the start, kidney donors are required to be healthy, have no kidney problems, and have no issues with high blood pressure or diabetes, both big contributors to kidney disease.

To learn more about the study:
- read this Associated Press item