HealthDay News — Sixteen percent of living kidney donors (LKDs) are uninsured at the time of donation, according to a study published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

James R. Rodrigue, PhD, and Aaron Fleishman, from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, examined correlations between insurance status and relevant sociodemographic and health characteristics for LKDs. The United Network for Organ Sharing/Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network registry was queried for all LKDs from July 2004 to July 2015.

The researchers found that 16% of the 53,724 LKDs with known health insurance status were uninsured at the time of donation. The likelihood of not having health insurance was increased for younger (age 18 to 34 years), male, minority, non-employed, less educated, non-married LKDs, and for smokers and those with normotension. LKDs with 1 (18%) or 2 or more (21%) health risk factors at the time of donation were more likely to be uninsured than those with no health risk factors (obesity, smoking, hypertension, estimated glomerular filtration rate, proteinuria; 14%) (P < 0.0001). Among those with 2 or more health risk factors, the likelihood of being uninsured was higher for blacks and Hispanics versus whites (28% and 27% versus 19%; P < 0.001).

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“Study findings underscore the importance of providing health insurance benefits to all previous and future LKDs,” the authors write.


  1. Rodrigue JR, Fleishman A. Health Insurance Trends in United States Living Kidney Donors (2004 to 2015). Am J Transplant. 2016; doi:10.1111/ajt.13827.