I want to understand my health risk if I donate a kidney to a close friend. My father had type 1 diabetes diagnosed at age 18. He was insulin dependent his entire life. My father died at 62 years old due to congestive heart failure. My mother has type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure, both were diagnosed in her 50’s, she’s 67 years old. My mother has had two mild strokes, but suffers no physical impairments. My mother’s father had extremely high blood pressure and late life diabetes. He suffered many strokes, resulting in paralysis, loss speech and finally an inability to swallow. I’ve read that kidney donation could result in high blood pressure or diabetes. Based on my family history, am I at a greater risk of suffering post operation hypertension or diabetes.? I am in very good health aside from my anemia, which I am told is a result of beta thalassemia. I am 5’4″ and 135 pounds. My blood pressure is typical 105/68.

I am unable to provide a prognosis based on the information that you present.  It certainly seems that you are at risk for chronic kidney disease (CKD) based on your family history and you should be screened for CKD annually.  If you wish to be tested as a kidney donor, you may do so by contacting the transplant center where your friend is on the transplant list.  They can provide you with an assessment and offer you the best advice they can based on a complete evaluation. If you wish to know more about being a kidney donor, you can visit our web site at:  https://www.kidney.org/transplantation/livingdonors

This web site is called “The Big Ask and The Big Give”.  It offers insight into being a kidney donor and risks that are known.


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