Living Kidney Donors Are At Higher Gout Risk

Donors were 60% more likely to be diagnosed with gout than matched healthy controls.
Donors were 60% more likely to be diagnosed with gout than matched healthy controls.

SAN FRANCISCO—Living kidney donors have a modestly increased long-term risk of gout, researchers reported at the 2014 World Transplant Congress.

A team led by Ngan N. Lam, MD, of the London Health Sciences Centre in London, Ontario, studied 1,988 living kidney donors and 19,880 matched healthy non-donors who were followed for a median of 8.4 years. The median at the index date of the donors and matched controls was 43 years. Gout developed in significantly more donors than non-donors (3.4% vs. 2.0%), a difference that translated into a 60% increased risk of gout among living donors, according to a poster presentation. In addition, significantly more donors than non-donors received prescriptions of the gout medicines allopurinol or colchicine (3.8% vs. 1.3%), which translated into a 3.2 times increased likelihood of a gout medication prescription.

“This information can be shared with potential donors and their recipients as part of the informed consent process,” the authors concluded.

Dr. Lam and her colleagues explained that decreases in glomerular filtration rate result in less uric acid excretion and thus a higher serum uric acid level. As early as 6 months after nephrectomy, they noted, living kidney donors have an 8.2% higher serum uric acid level compared with non-donor controls and a 20% higher serum uric acid level a mean 7 years after nephrectomy.

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