According to a recent
American study presented at the National Kidney Foundation's 2012 Spring
Clinical Meetings, majority of potential kidney donors are obese, making
organ donation difficult for them.
Mala Sachdeva, MD, of
Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and Feinstein Institute for Medical
Research, and the lead author of the study remarks "We all know that
the prevalence of obesity is increasing globally and that there is not enough
research studying the prevalence of obesity among the population of potential
donors. In addition, no one has studied how hard it is to lose weight and then
In the United States
alone there are about 92,000 people waiting for their turn for a kidney
transplant. Potential donors with a
body mass index (BMI) of over 35 are considered obese and are ineligible to
study was carried out on potential kidney donors at the North Shore-LIJ Health
System Transplant Center on Long Island, NY. Majority of these men (82%) were
obese or overweight and hence, were excluded from donating their organs. Only
three among the excluded potential donors were successful at shedding weight to
a value that would allow them to donate.
The study supports the
fact that obesity is indeed a matter of grave concern and new strategies must
be developed to conserve the donor pool.
need to come up with more rigorous weight reduction programs, with
effective follow-up and peer support structures in order to ensure positive
weight-loss outcomes and long-term health.
"As the kidney
transplant waiting list grows, there is a great need for living donors,"
said Lynda Szczech, MD, National Kidney Foundation president. "This study
pointed out the impact of obesity as a barrier to donation. As a community, we
need to identify ways to overcome this barrier so that we can increase our donor
pool and end the wait for transplant."
is a process by which the healthy tissues or organs from one person is
transplanted into another individual.
Mostly organs are
donated after a person dies. But some organs, like the kidneys, can be donated
while a person is still alive. The organs/tissues that can be donated include
kidneys, liver, heart, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone, bone marrow and
People of all ages
above 18 can donate organs by signing a donor card. The family of the
donor must be made aware of individual's wishes.
The organs from one
dead person can save as many as 8 lives! The success rate for
organ donation is between 80 and 90%. There are millions of people who die
while waiting for organs or life-saving tissues. To become an organ donor is to
be a lifesaver!
Donate Organs -Save lives!