African-American live kidney donors have a significantly increased risk of hypertension compared with non-donors, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

To examine the risk of hypertension and kidney disease in donors, Mona D. Doshi, MD, of Wayne State University in Detroit, and collaborators evaluated 103 African-American live kidney donors, who donated between 1993 and 2006 at two transplant centers, and 235 matched non-donors from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults prospective cohort study. Donors and non-donors were followed for a mean of 6.8 or 6.4 years, respectively.

Donors had a significant 2.4 times increased hypertension risk compared with non-donors. In addition, 52.4% of the donors with hypertension were untreated. Of the donors, 15.5% had an estimated glomerular filtration rate below 60 mL/min/1.73 m², 5.8% had microalbuminuria, and none of them were on dialysis.

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“The data from our retrospective study demonstrates that live kidney donation is associated with increased risk of hypertension in African-Americans,” the researchers noted. “At this time, results of the current study should not dissuade African-Americans from being a live kidney donor, but does raise awareness about the importance of donor follow-up.”