Background: Live-kidney donation has a low mortality rate. Evidence suggests that live-kidney donors experience a quality of life (QoL) comparable to or even superior to that of the general population. There is limited information on factors associated with a decrease in QoL in particular for baseline factors, which would improve information to the donor, donor selection, and convalescence.
Methods: QoL data on 501 live donors included in three prospective studies between 2001 and 2010 were used. The 36-item short form health survey (SF-36) was used to measure QoL up to 1 year after the procedure. Longitudinal effects on both the mental (MCS) and physical component scales (PCS) were analyzed with multilevel linear regression analyses. Baseline variables were age, gender, body mass index (BMI), pain, operation type, and comorbidity. Other covariates were loss of the graft, glomerular filtration rate, and recipient complications.
Results: After 1 year we observed a small decrease in PCS (effect size = −0.24), whereas the MCS increased (effect size = 0.32). Both PCS and MCS were still well above the norm of the general Dutch population. Factors associated with a change in PCS were BMI (Cohen's d = −0.17 for 5 BMI points) and age (d = −0.13 for each 10 years older).
Conclusions: Overall, QoL after live-donor nephrectomy is excellent. A lowered PCS is related to age and body weight. Expectations towards a decreased postoperative QoL at 1 year are unjustified. However, one should keep in mind that older and obese donors may develop a reduced physical QoL after live-kidney donation.

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Journal Transplantation Proceedings
Klop, K.W.J, Timman, R, van Busschbach, J.J, Dols, L.F.C, Dooper, I.M, Weimar, W, … Kok, N.F.M. (2018). Multivariate Analysis of Health-related Quality of Life in Donors After Live Kidney Donation. Transplantation Proceedings, 50(1), 42–47. doi:10.1016/j.transproceed.2017.10.019