Global trends in the rates of living kidney donation

As the worldwide prevalence of end-stage renal disease increases it is important to evaluate the rate of living kidney donation in various countries; however there is no comprehensive global assessment of these rates. To measure this, we compiled data from representatives, renal registries, transplant networks, published reports in the literature, and national health ministries from 69 countries and made estimates from regional weighted averages for an additional 25 countries where data could not be obtained.


In 2006, about 27,000 related and unrelated legal living donor kidney transplants were performed worldwide, representing 39% of all kidney transplants. The number of living kidney donor transplants grew over the last decade, with 62% of countries reporting at least a 50% increase. The greatest numbers of living donor kidney transplants, on a yearly basis, were performed in the United States (6435), Brazil (1768), Iran (1615), Mexico (1459), and Japan (939). Saudi Arabia had the highest reported living kidney donor transplant rate at 32 procedures per million population (pmp), followed by Jordan (29), Iceland (26), Iran (23), and the United States (21). Our study shows that rates of living donor kidney transplant have steadily risen in most regions of the world, increasing its global significance as a treatment option for kidney failure.


Authors: Lucy Diane Horvat, Salimah Z Shariff and Amit X Garg

Reference: Kidney International 75: 1088-1098; Published online, 18 February 2009; doi:10.1038/ki.2009.20

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