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Elderly patients awaiting kidneys often die before transplant

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 29, 2009

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Nearly half of patients older than 60 who are awaiting a kidney transplant likely will die before an organ becomes available from a deceased donor, according to research published online June 18 in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrologylink.

Researchers from the University of Florida in Gainesville analyzed data on about 55,000 older patients who were placed on a waiting list for a kidney transplant from 1995 to 2007. Projections of life expectancies suggest that 46% would die before receiving an organ, the study said. Blacks and patients older than 70 were at an even higher risk of dying.

Researchers emphasized the need to consider living donation as an alternative for some older patients or, alternately, to navigate the steps to receive a deceased donor transplant as rapidly as possible.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2009/06/29/prbf0629.htm.

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