There is no increase in the risk of heart attacks among kidney donors, according to a study that claims to be the largest ever on the issue.
The study, presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 40th Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Francisco, however, says donors are more likely to suffer high blood pressure.
But whether this increases risk of a cardiovascular event is unclear, says Amit X. Garg of the Lawson Health Research Institute in Ontario.
Garg and colleagues analysed follow-up data on 1,278 patients who became living kidney donors between 1993 and 2005. The rates of major cardiovascular events - including heart attack, stroke, angioplasty, or bypass surgery - were compared to those of 6,369 healthy adults.
During a follow-up period of one to 13 years, 1.3 percent of kidney donors died or experienced a cardiovascular event. This was not statistically different from the 1.7 percent rate in the comparison group.
The only significant difference was a higher rate of hypertension among living kidney donors: about 16 percent, compared with 12 percent in the comparison group.
"Donors were diagnosed more frequently with hypertension, but they also saw their primary care physicians more often than controls, and so had more opportunities to be diagnosed," said Garg.