Female kidney donors losing out
WOMEN are much more likely to donate a kidney than receive one, researchers say.
Two-thirds of all living kidney donors are female – but they are also more likely to suffer from the most serious stages of chronic kidney disease.
Even within married couples there is a big disparity. A study of donation rates across Europe found 36 per cent of women who could donate a kidney to their husband do so. But only 6.5 per cent of clinically suitable men donate a kidney to their wives.
The German researchers, writing in the Visceral Medicine journal, said: ‘It is assumed that women consent more often to kidney donation due to social responsibility and altruism, and because they are more likely to give in to subtle pressure.’ Women are also less likely to receive a liver transplant, the researchers said, and more likely to die waiting for a transplant. The scientists, from Universitätsmedizin Berlin, believe this is partly because they are less likely to plead for one.
The data, published to mark International Women’s Day and World Kidney Day today, comes as the NHS warns of falling numbers of kidney donations.
NHS Blood and Transplant said the number of living kidney donors had dipped to an eight-year low, with just 990 donors in 2017, a 10 per cent decline on the highest ever year, 2013. There are currently 4,960 people waiting for a kidney transplant.