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Almost Half of Those Over 60 Die While Waiting for Kidney Transplant
Date:6/18/2009

Study highlights need to get on list quickly, experts say,,,,

THURSDAY, June 18 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly one of every two people over the age of 60 who are hoping for a kidney transplant will die while on the waiting list, new research shows.

The study also found that other factors, such as having diabetes, being black, having certain blood types, being older than 70, or waiting for a transplant in certain areas of the country increased the odds that someone would die while waiting for a donated kidney.

"The prognosis, particularly for older patients waiting for a kidney transplant, has deteriorated rapidly over the past decade," said study author Jesse Schold, an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

"Wait-list times have increased, but the rate of transplant hasn't increased markedly," he explained, adding that this leaves "older candidates at a significantly greater risk, because they have a higher risk of mortality in general."

Results of the study were published in the June 18 online edition of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Schold said the findings emphasize the need for people to get on transplant waiting lists immediately. "If you know this is something you're interested in, get on a waiting list before you even start dialysis, if possible," he advised.

Dr. Robert Provenzano, chief of nephrology for St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit, agreed that people should get on a waiting list as soon as possible and consider getting on the waiting list at more than one medical center to improve the odds of getting a donated kidney.

The current study looked at data from 1995 through 2007 and included 54,669 candidates who were older than 60 and on a waiting list for a kidney transplant.

Of those listed in 2006 and 2007, the researchers projected that 46 percent would die while on t
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