8 Feb, 16 | by BMJ
NEJM 4 Feb 2016 Vol 374
411 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Failing that, consider live kidney donation. In fact, the risk of you laying down your life by getting end stage failure of the other kidney is really low, especially if you are “white” rather than “black”, in the parlance of this paper. If you are a black man of 40 in the general US population with two intact kidneys, your 15 year risk of end stage renal disease is 0.24%, whereas if you are a white woman, it is 0.04%. Donating a kidney increases the risk by a factor of 3.5 to 5.3. So the extremes would be: maximum 1.72% risk for a black man donating a kidney versus minimum 0.14% for a white woman over 15 years. Quite a range, but reassuring figures for anyone thinking of being altruistic.