Kidney transplants for older patients are more common now than 10 years ago, a new study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology reports. Patients requiring a new kidney appear to be much more likely to receive a kidney now than if they were waiting for a transplant more than 10 years ago.
Nearly 500,000 individuals experience kidney failure in the United States, and about half of them are over the age of 60. Receiving a transplant provides better survival for patients than does remaining on dialysis. While more organs are available for donation, so are those requiring donated organs.
A research team worked to determine whether or not elderly patients can more easily access and receive an organ transplant than previously. For the study, researchers examined the United States Renal Data System between 1995 and 2006 for patients in the United States with kidney failure between the ages of 60 and 75 years old.
The study showed transplants to be fairly rare, but patients are two times more likely to have a transplant in 2006 than 1995. Authors of this study suggest transplantation as an effective method for healthy patients to significantly increase survival rate when compared to other treatment options.
Researchers encourage transplantation for patients but stress to clinicians that the patient be able to safely take on a new organ.