Diabetics Could Be Organ Donors

New medical advances allow diabetics to donate organs.


Waiting for a kidney is incredibly stressful. There are wait lists and countless tests to determine your body’s risk for rejecting another person’s kidney. Many people don’t receive door kidneys when they need them, but new medical advances are turning the table around.

Diabetic donors

Recent research has shown that decreased diabetic patients can donate kidneys. The recipients of the organ from non-living diabetics are more likely to survive with the new kidney than people who remain on the transplant waiting list are.

Individuals who were on the donor waiting list were found to be 9% less likely to die than other patients who waited on the list for a non-diabetic kidney. The people who need a kidney the most had a higher chance of accepting a diabetic kidney than those who could wait for a better donor to come along. Researchers tracked patients who had received a diabetic kidney for nine years after their transplant surgery to see how well they did.

Additional research required

Although this is good news, the research also showed that people under 40 years of age didn’t have an increased rate of survival if they received a diabetic kidney. Additionally, the donor kidney must still be in good condition for it to be considered for a transplant.

Kidney transplants are more effective and cheaper than dialysis is, but there is a shortage of viable kidneys to be donated. Since the demand for kidney transplants are high due to the overload of end-stage renal disease cases, there is the chance of weaker kidneys being used to get the most vulnerable transplant patients off the waiting list. Even with a kidney that isn’t 100% optimal, having the transplant could give a person another chance at living a healthy life.


Diabetic kidneys can safely expand the donor pool. Becker YT, Leverson GE, D’Alessandro AM, Sollinger HW, Becker BN. Division of Transplantation, Department of Surgery, University of Wisconsin. Accessed May 27, 2017.